Harnessing data for better cancer care

27 May 2021

The report assesses the essential role of data in cancer care to improve outcomes for all people with cancer. It offers policymakers, care providers, patients and decision-makers a forward-looking view of how to ensure high-quality health data are systematically collected and used to improve outcomes for patients across the entire cancer care pathway.

Over the past decades there has been considerable progress in cancer care, with many advances enabled by high-quality data. Having timely access to data has become essential to driving meaningful research, enabling efficient models of care, and improving quality and outcomes for patients. Innovations in the way we use and collect data, as well as our ability to draw insights from data, offer the potential to improve efficiency at every stage of the care pathway.

The report identifies challenges in 4 areas: challenges inherent in data, challenges with data systems, challenges to embedding data into clinical practice and challenges in drawing insights from data.

Post-COVID, policymakers are presented with a unique opportunity to build more sustainable, resilient and efficient systems of care, leaving nobody behind. Addressing the challenges in data is essential to achieving this goal.