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Sharing Patient-Controlled Real-World Data Through the Application of the Theory of Commons: Action Research Case Study.


ABSTRACT:

Background

Technological advances have radically changed the opportunities for individuals with chronic conditions to practice self-care and to coproduce health care and research. Digital technologies enable patients to perform tasks traditionally carried out by health care professionals in a more convenient way, at lower costs, and without compromising quality. Patients may also share real-world data with other stakeholders to promote individual and population health. However, there is a need for legal frameworks that enable patient privacy and control in such sharing of real-world data. We believe that this need could be met by the conceptualization of patient-controlled real-world data as knowledge commons, which is a resource shared by a group of people.

Objective

This study aimed to propose a conceptual model that describes how patient-controlled real-world data can be shared effectively in chronic care management, in a way that supports individual and population health, while respecting personal data privacy and control.

Methods

An action research approach was used to develop a solution to enable patients, in a self-determined way, to share patient-controlled data to other settings. We chose the context of cystic fibrosis (CF) care in Sweden, where coproduction between patients, their families, and health care professionals is critical in the introduction of new drugs. The first author, who is a lawyer and parent of children with CF, was a driver in the change process. All coauthors collaborated in the analysis. We collected primary and secondary data reflecting changes during the time period from 2012 to 2020, and performed a qualitative content analysis guided by the knowledge commons framework.

Results

Through a series of changes, a national system for enabling patients to share patient-controlled real-world data to different stakeholders in CF care was implemented. The case analysis resulted in a conceptual model consisting of the following three knowledge commons arenas that contributed to patient-controlled real-world data collection, use, and sharing: (1) patient world arena involving the private sphere of patients and families; (2) clinical microsystem arena involving the professional sphere at frontline health care clinics; and (3) round table arena involving multiple stakeholders from different settings. Based on the specification of property rights, as presented in our model, the patient can keep control over personal health information and may grant use rights to other stakeholders.

Conclusions

Health information exchanges for sharing patient-controlled real-world data are pivotal to enable patients, health care professionals, health care funders, researchers, authorities, and the industry to coproduce high-quality care and to introduce and follow-up novel health technologies. Our model proposes how technical and legal structures that protect the integrity and self-determination of patients can be implemented, which may be applicable in other chronic care settings as well.

SUBMITTER: Hager A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7854041 | BioStudies | 2021-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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