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Data protection: Austrian medical universities stress the importance of using data in research in medicine

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(Vienna/Innsbruck/Graz/Linz 11 April 2018) Today, Wednesday, the Austrian medical universities, MedUni Vienna, Med Uni Graz, Medical University of Innsbruck and the Medical Faculty of Johannes Kepler University in Linz (JKU), are stressing the importance of providing the ability to access patient data and data relevant to research in the planned new legislation on research organisations. "The future of medicine and research are based on data and so data access is extremely important in the future as well," stressed the university managements.

The data access provided under the new Act and its guidelines would guarantee that patient details are handled in compliance with data protection requirements while, at the same time, being available for research purposes. The protection and well-being of patients is, of course, always paramount but the patients themselves would always want future generations to benefit from the knowledge obtained – and this would also be of lasting  benefit to the entire Austrian healthcare system.

Due to technological advances, medicine and research are given the tools they require for continuously improving their data usage, particularly in the realm of personalised medicine (the right treatment at the right time for the right patient) – the major trend in 21st-century medicine. It is therefore essential to safeguard data sharing and data utilisation in medicine and research going forward.