Equity as a Guiding Principle for the Public Health Data System

Published in: Big Data, Volume 10, Issue S1, pages S3–S8 (September 2022). doi: 10.1089/big.2022.0204

Posted on RAND.org on September 14, 2022

by Anita Chandra, Laurie T. Martin, Joie D. Acosta, Christopher Nelson, Douglas Yeung, Nabeel Qureshi, Tara Laila Blagg

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The growing centering of equity in health has elevated a conversation about how those interests should translate within the systems and sectors that influence health. In particular, the public health data system has been relatively limited in capturing the drivers and consequences of health inequity as well as the varying dimensions of equity. This article examines what it means to use equity as a guiding principle throughout the components and functions of a modern public health data system. As with other articles in this supplement, this article builds from a literature review, environmental scan, and deliberations from the National Commission to Transform Public Health Data Systems to summarize current gaps to integrate equity throughout the system. It outlines opportunities for the technology and data science sectors specifically to engage given the access that these sectors have to information that would illuminate and frame the nuances and impacts of health inequity.

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