Using big data to help understand, model and manage ageing and health
What is big data?
With advances in information technology, researchers and governments are beginning to compile health information into incredibly useful huge databases.
New Zealand has a personal identifier system, called the National Health Index, which allows different data sets to be linked (anonymously).
This offers New Zealand an opportunity to become a world leader in using big data to inform policy and evaluation.
What is the InterRAI Home Care version?
New Zealand is the first country in the world to implement a universal standardised comprehensive assessment for all older people who are being considered for access to publically-funded community services or residential care.
This assessment tool is called the international Residential Assessment (interRAI), and it was developed by a not-for-profit network of academics and clinicians in over thirty countries.
The 1.5 hour interRAI homecare assessment is usually completed in the person's home and records responses to 236 standardised items including the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
The assessment produces recommendations for clinical care.
Additionally the anonymised assessments have created a researchable dataset that is almost unparalleled in the world, as over 90% of the people assessed give their permission for the data to be used for research.