A new report by Ernst & Young claims data held by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) could be worth nearly £10 billion a year through operational savings, enhanced patient outcomes, and benefits to the wider economy.

The valuation was made after considering 55 million primary care and health information records held by the NHS, to estimate the total value of NHS datasets across various care services. The report noted whilst the value of data may vary depending on its characteristics, each patient’s electronic health record is believed to be worth over £100. A combination of genomic and phenotypic data from a patient’s record could be valued between £1000 and £5000.

In order for the data to deliver its estimated values, there is a need to invest in the technology to consolidate, curate and analyze them. The NHS has a fragmented data ecosystem with numerous access restrictions. The prevalence of artificial intelligence and analytics platforms may help to unlock some of these challenges and improve the operational efficiency of the 70-year-old health organisation.