In Connecting the dots: putting big data to work for health systems, Maximilian Salcher (LSE) provides an overview of the key issues in using big data to improve health systems. The article, published in the Spring issue of Eurohealth, describes the potential of big data to revolutionise health care and its impact on a variety of stakeholders.

Touching on a range of topics of immediate relevance to the IMI2 Big Data for Better Outcomes programme, the article describes how data availability allows researchers to ask and answer new research questions, how this translates into policy-making, and highlights the challenges involved for all stakeholders. Focusing on the linkage of existing data, examples are given of initiatives in several countries that use big data to improve the quality and efficiency of health care systems. Multi-stakeholder involvement and the development of a governance framework are presented as key to unlocking the big data potential in health.