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China releases new Opinion to promote big data in healthcare

China's State Council promulgated an Opinion on the Promotion and Standardisation of Application and Development of Big Data for the Healthcare Industry (the "Opinion") dated 24 June 2016, which aims to promote the development of big data within healthcare. Nicolas Zhu has recently been interviewed by eHealthlaw&policy to talk about more.

The plans put forward in the Opinion include: connection of nationwide and province-wide healthcare platforms with the online drug tender platform in 2017; establishment of a classified open platform of nationwide health information in 2020; sharing of basic data in connection with the population, legal persons and geographic location amongst ministries and regions; establishment of 100 clinical data sample centres; establishment of an electronic health archive for citizens; and establishment of a healthcare card.

"The promulgation of the Opinion is in line with the 13th Five Year Plan issued by the Chinese Government to encourage healthcare development," explains Nicolas Zhu, Partner at CMS China. "More detailed measures are required to support and clarify the implementation of these measures, due to the regulatory constraints that have existed under China's health law."

China's Data Protection Law has not yet been promulgated, which could see a conflict between the push to develop big data and the increased focus on the protection of personal data. Despite this, Zhu is positive about the Government's move to encourage big data. The Opinion will be helpful to push forward the regulations in the near future to support the development of big data in healthcare, concludes Zhu.

The article was firstly published in the July 2016 issue of eHealthlaw&policy journal.


Portrait of Nicolas Zhu
Nicolas Zhu