Our challenges

Europe’s healthcare systems face significant challenges, such as ageing population, an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases, and budgetary pressures. It is also estimated that around one-fifth of healthcare expenditures makes minimal to no contribution to health outcomes for patients. Patient health outcomes vary widely within and across healthcare systems, regions, and countries. This raises questions around which therapies work best for patients and how improvements in healthcare can lead to better and more sustainable patient outcomes. Part of the challenge is to understand and optimize the contribution of the increasing number of data to the improvement of healthcare.


The role of big data

Big data related to healthcare allows us to find better responses to these questions and challenges. There is already a considerable amount of patient and healthcare data available with much more on the horizon. This data, especially when different datasets are linked together, can make healthcare delivery more efficient and improve health outcomes. It will also help to better understand human biology which can in turn facilitate research and development towards more effective and personalised therapies for patients. Ultimately, this can lead to better quality of life and more affordable healthcare.

“Data can improve health outcomes”


About our programme

The Innovative Medicines Initiative’s (IMI) Big Data for Better Outcomes Programme (BD4BO) was launched in 2016 with a planned time-frame of about 10 years. Its overall objective is to maximise the potential of big data in European healthcare, and to promote innovative methods for harmonising, accessing, and analysing data. The BD4BO programme comprises several disease-specific projects focusing on Alzheimer’s disease, hematologic malignancies, cardiovascular diseases, and prostate cancer, with potential others at a later date. These disease-specific projects are supported by the Coordination and Support Action (CSA) as an overarching coordination structure, and the European Health Data Network (EHDN) project which will be a federated network of relevant data sources. The outcomes, project examples and results of the Programme will be available for stakeholders and the public via BD4BO’s website and other communication channels.

“Empowering patients as data owners and partners in research”

The Programme will provide a structure for empowering patients as data owners and partners in research. Recognising the unique rights of patients to their personal data, it will ensure that the right balance will be found between guaranteeing individual privacy whilst supporting innovation and progress. A toolkit will also be developed that includes best practices on outcomes, as well as training materials for engaging with patients.


Our Aim

BD4BO can only reach its aims to support and accelerate the evolution towards value-based, patient outcomes-focused and sustainable healthcare, with the collaboration and engagement of all relevant stakeholders. On mid-term, BD4BO and its projects should be the “go-to” source for pan-European outcomes data and a trusted partner for patients, researchers, healthcare professionals, and decision-makers alike.