Published: July 9th 2021
When planning ahead or making decisions, we naturally gather information to make the best choice.
When searching for a job, selecting a new appliance, or choosing a school for our children, we rely on accurate and comprehensive data to help us make a judgment.
The same applies to healthcare.
Reviewing medical data provides our practitioners with a 360-degree view of our health. It provides a deeper understanding of our wellbeing, enables treatment procedures to be more customized, and improves communication between doctors and patients.
In our first blog, Why Owning Your Medical Data is a Human Right, we discussed the importance of obtaining our medical records and how this basic human right continues to be violated.
What are the types of medical data that you should own?
Medical data is generally classified into six groups, which we have listed below. Together, they form a complete overview of an individual’s health.
1. Clinical Data
This is the type of information collected for providing care as well as clinical research. Clinical data includes determinants of health, health status, and documentation of care given to a patient.
You can gather clinical data through the following:
- Electronic Health Records
- Patient/Disease Registries
- Clinical Trial Data
2. Demographic Data
Patient demographics are considered core data by medical institutions. Simply put, this data consists of personal characteristics such as name, age, gender, ethnicity, and country of birth.
Demographic data allows a patient to be identified and categorized for statistical analysis.
3. Psychosocial Data
This information refers to the emotional, behavioral, mental, and environmental status of a patient. Obtaining psychosocial data can help provide a better evaluation and understanding of an individual’s mental health and social wellbeing.
Psychosocial data can also aid your practitioner in planning and providing the best care to achieve optimal health.
4. Lifestyle Data
Lifestyle information is used to determine a patient’s diet, habits, and daily activities, such as physical activity levels, smoking behaviors, and so on.
This lifestyle data allows medical professionals to create risk profiles that are helpful in interventions that alleviate or prevent chronic diseases.
5. Environmental Data
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 13% of the overall disease burden in the U.S. is due to environmental factors.
Environmental data determines the quality of air we breathe and the water and food we consume, allowing us to assess if we have been exposed to toxins that can negatively impact our health. Obtaining environmental data can also be used to identify the root cause of certain diseases related to respiratory and heart, and a variety of cancers.
6. Genomic Data
Genomic data refers to the genome and DNA data of an organism, including humans. Adding this information to our medical records can improve medicinal practices, diagnosis, prescription, and genetic disorder treatment.
So, why should you have these medical data sets?
Complete and accurate medical data promotes better patient care and enables medical practitioners and healthcare workers to make more informed decisions.
When we have all six forms of medical data, we have more control over our healthcare choices, and we can share this information with our medical professionals. This can only lead to better outcomes.
Want to know more about owning your medical data?
Our next blog, "Six Benefits of Owning Your Health Data" will discuss the six benefits of owning our health data. Stay tuned!