Sharing health data in Belgium : a home care case study using the Vitalink platform


In 2013, the Flemish Government launched the Vitalink platform. This initiative focuses on the sharing of health and welfare data to support primary healthcare. In this paper, the objectives and mission of the Vitalink initiative are discussed. Security and privacy measures are reviewed, and the technical implementation of the Vitalink platform is presented. Through a case study, the possibility of interaction with cloud solutions for healthcare is also investigated upon; this was initially not the focus of Vitalink. The Vitalink initiative provides support for secure data sharing in primary healthcare, which in the long term will improve the efficiency of care and will decrease costs. Based on the results of the case study, Vitalink allowed cloud solutions or applications not providing end-to-end security to use their system. The most important lesson learned during this research was the need for firm regulations and stipulations for cloud solutions to interact with the Vitalink platform. However, these are currently still vague.