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Articles on Health data

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The human brain isn’t built to understand large numbers. OsakaWayne Studios/Moment via Getty Images

Brains are bad at big numbers, making it impossible to grasp what a million COVID-19 deaths really means

The brain can count small numbers or compare large ones. But it struggles to understand the value of a single large number. This fact may be influencing how people react to numbers about the pandemic.
Cellular phones track and reveal owners’ movements, generating useful data for pandemic tracking. (Shutterstock)

Ottawa’s use of our location data raises big surveillance and privacy concerns

In order to track the pandemic, the Public Health Agency of Canada has been using location data without explicit and informed consent. Transparency is key to building and maintaining trust.
Digital health technology, such as electronic health records, is believed to enhance patient-centred care, improve integrated care and ensure financially sustainable health care. (Shutterstock)

Ontario’s digital health program has a data quality problem, despite billions in spending

Digital health can improve care, but in Ontario, health data are still fragmented, despite billions of dollars spent over the last two decades to enable fast and secure exchange of health information.
The growing use of artificial intelligence in health care should be driven by careful consideration of what is important to members of the public. (Shutterstock)

What the public hopes and fears about the use of AI in health care

The use of artificial intelligence in health care is on the rise, and the concerns of the public need to be considered in developing policy that regulates its application.
Managing large datasets of sensitive health information requires accountability. (Shutterstock)

Health data collected during the coronavirus pandemic needs to be managed responsibly

Data trusts are a key part of a health data infrastructure that manages user and patient information in a responsible, transparent and accountable manner.
Health care workers use a nasal swab to test a person for COVID-19 in Pembroke Park, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images News via Getty Images

Video: What the huge COVID-19 testing undercount in the US means

A recent report by the CDC estimated that the true number of COVID-19 cases in the US could be six to 24 times more than the number of confirmed cases. A public health scholar explains the implications.
Flowers sit on a bench in front of Orchard Villa care home in Pickering, Ont. on April 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

How some OECD countries helped control COVID-19 in long-term care homes

People living in long-term care facilities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in Canada. A new report analyzing long-term care around the world assesses Canada’s pandemic performance.

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