Cross-border data transfers are essential to healthcare delivery via telehealth and telemedicine (collectively referred to as “remote health services”), as well as for on-site health services.

Remote health services, secured and enabled through cross-border access to best-in-class technologies, can offer significant benefits from perspectives of accessibility, cost, quality, safety, disease containment, and ongoing monitoring. Similarly, patient care can often be improved in on-site healthcare settings when doctors can support their patients by accessing medical expertise, health research, or analytics from other countries.

  • Cross-border epidemiological control, based on the cross-border consolidation of anonymized data sets for purposes of real-time statistical tracking, analytics, and monitoring of aggregated anonymized data—e.g., to identify health trends, epidemiological patterns, or localized disease outbreaks.
  • Cross-border access to health-care data analytics that help doctors evaluate local data samples against databases of relevant information gathered from all over the world—enhancing the reliability and accuracy of diagnoses and treatment recommendations.
  • Cross-border delivery of consultations, remote second opinions, or other information from a provider in one country to a provider or patient in another. For example, in oncology, a patient may choose to have a biopsy sample sent to a lab overseas for genomic profiling, where the data can be processed and analyzed on a cloud-hosted server overseas and then be sent back to the treating physician on-site. Subject to all applicable privacy and other safeguards, the treating physician may then share anonymized data points with colleagues from other countries for a peer-to-peer consultation service or an international molecular tumor board to help decide the best treatment option for that patient.
  • Cross-border humanitarian assistance to underserved populations. According to the WHO, “telemedicine networks around the world deliver humanitarian services on a routine basis, many to low-income countries. These networks provide tele-consultations for physicians and other health professionals needing advice about the clinical management of difficult cases, and some also provide education.”
  • Cross-border cost management. Cross-border data transfers can also help accelerate Real World Data (RWD) collection and Real World Evidence (RWE) generation, which can in turn help local payors design the best outcome-based agreements with manufacturers, improve patient outcomes while controlling costs (value-based healthcare), or simply help local payors accelerate their decision making process or enable patients to have earlier access to the latest diagnostic tests and treatment options.