89% of patients would share their data
to help improve the care of others

the use and governance
of personal health data

Personal health data (PHD) are increasingly understood as key to the sustainability of public and private healthcare systems. These data hold an enormous potential when it comes to their usage and impact in areas like the acceleration of health research, influence in the priorities of that same research and personalisation of medical treatments. In addition to this, better access to PHD leads to the empowerment of citizens by giving them the ability to make decisions about their own data as well as to take an active role in the management of their health conditions.

The challenge

The objective of this challenge is to identify and award innovative ideas, projects and solutions that consider different uses and applications of PHD beyond access. It particularly seeks proposals that consider innovative modes of PHD governance, future use in health and medical research, inclusion of new types of data like those collected by wearable devices, contribution to wellbeing and aging solutions and innovative business models that assure the long-term sustainability of PHD usage and governance.

Preference will be given to proposals that take into consideration the sensitivity, integrity and security of PHD. Recent technologic developments, like it is the case of blockchain and smart contracts, are already offering safer and more dynamic governance models than those previously available. These technical advances together with others that are already being developed and tested mean that PHD can be managed, shared and accessed by multiple parties without compromising data integrity and security.

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Why it matters

The inclusion of access to PHD as part of the action areas of the Digital Single Market strategy from the European Commission exemplifies how important the ability to access, manage and govern PHD is. A survey to the American Federal Agencies done by MeriTalk also showed that PHD are increasingly part of health big data systems. The survey showed that collected data is being used by 35% of those enquired to improve patient care, 31% use it to reduce care costs, 28% to improve health outcomes and finally, 22% use collected data to increase early detection.

Nonetheless, access and use of PHD are constrained by issues around personal privacy and data ownership, informed consent of future use of those data, how data is shared and accessed and lastly, the quality of the data being made available. In many cases, existing public policies have not been able to keep up with the different emerging technologies collecting, exploring and even monetizing PHD. Many questions related to the roles, responsibilities and rights of patients, data owners and consumers in relation to PHD are also often left unanswered.

The Health Data Exploration project found that 78% of the patients they surveyed would “probably” or “definitely” donate their health data for research, being the decision based, for most of them, on the non-commercial or commercial use of data. Another survey in 2012 showed that 89% of patients wished to have their data used to help improve the care of others with the same or similar health condition. However, most patients also worried that their shared data would be used in detrimental ways.

The European Commission calculates that by 2017, not only 3.4 billion people worldwide will own a smartphone, half of these users will use health apps. In 2014, Rock Health invested $4.1 billion into mHealth companies because they sell apps and devices that automatically collect personal wellbeing and health data.

This shows how the pooling of a large amount of health data is a valuable commodity. The personal health data industry is calculated to be worth around $3.4 trillion. As the Scientific American indicates, the dominant player in the medical-data-trading industry is IMS Health, which recorded $2.6 billion in revenue in 2014. Health-care records are highly demanded in the black market and they are worth as much as 60 times more than the data of stolen credit cards, because of the amount and detail of personal data they contain.

If you believe you have the answer to the future use & governance of personal health data, send us your proposal and become part of the solution.


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Key dates

Submission deadline

27 June 2017

Results of Round One

07 July 2017

Results of Round Two

08 August 2017

Final results

September 2017

Why to participate


Partnership Set Up

In order to make your proposal successful d-LAB will bring the necessary partners from different sectors on board to work together.


Pilot & Scale up

Pilot your solution in a real-life testing ground and prepare it to scale up and replicate the pilot at national and international level.


Visibility & Promotion

Gain great visibility throughout communication channels and get support in the dissemination of your project´s results. Be present at the Mobile World Congress!

How to participate


Learn about the challenge and see how you can contribute to solving it. Get your proposal together and become part of the solution.


Send us your proposal by completing the online submission form.
Deadline is 27 June 2017 at 5.00pm CET.


Your proposal will go through three rounds of evaluation and winner(s) will be selected by our international Advisory Committee.


Winners will be announced during a public event in May 2017. Winning proposal(s) will start implementation immediately.


  • Who can participate?
  • Can I submit an idea?
  • Is there any direct funding for the winning solution?
  • Can I submit my solution in Spanish or Catalan?
Who can participate?
We accept submission from local, national and international legal organizations with VAT number. There is no size or geographical restriction.
Can I submit an idea?
You can submit the idea only in case its implementation can start immediately and can be fully piloted in less than 12 months. You should provide as many details as possible in the submission form.
Is there any direct funding for the winning solution?
There is no direct funding for the winning solution. However, the MWC/d·LAB will contribute with:
  • Providing life testing ground to implement pilot project
  • Bringing any necessary partners for the successful execution of the project
  • Leading and supporting the realization of the pilot
  • Giving visibility to the project in different events and at the Mobile World Congress
  • Supporting scaling up of the projects internationally, if the pilot is successful
  • Producing high quality content about the project
Can I submit my solution in Spanish or Catalan?
In order to make the Call for Proposals accessible and equal for both national and international participants we only accept submissions in English. The evaluation will be done by international Advisory Committee members.