Health Data Guide

This guide is designed to provide practical information on healthcare data and analytics for researchers and companies alike. Focus is in the context of machine learning and artificial intelligence, which require effective handling of big data from multiple data sources.

In this guide, you will learn

  • what kind of health datasets are available and how to get the data
  • principles of legislation for using the data (GDPR and national laws in Finland)
  • what kind of consents are needed from the patient
  • special properties of electronic patient records
  • what is augmented/synthetic data
  • how to preprocess the data to get the maximum knowledge of it
  • recommendations for anonymization techniques
  • basics of machine learning for health data
  • secure data management

The terms of health data acquisition from the national registries are changing in the near future, as the new law, Act on Secondary Use of Health and Social data was approved in May 2019. This guide describes the present situation concerning health data, as well as opens up the rules after the new law has been fully enforced.

The text is complemented with web links to relevant articles, data sources and EU guidelines for those who want more information on these topics. Feel free to give feedback for improving this guide!

This Guide is made for informative purposes only. The Guide should not be used for legal guidance or should not be considered as legal advice or as an interpretation of any existing legislation.