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Portugal to monitor public health through a national open data portal

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The National Health Service in Portugal (SNS – Serviço Nacional de Saüde) has set up an open data portal whose goal is to provide a dashboard to monitor the health of Portuguese people. Called Transparencia (Transparency), the portal gathers operational data generated or collected by the agencies of the national health system.

Public entities who publish data include:

  • Infarmed;
  • National Institute of Medical Emergency;
  • General Director of the national health system;
  • Ministry of Health;
  • National Blood Institute;
  • Dr. Ricardo Jorge’s National Institute.

The published data can be “visualised, analysed, and re-used by the population with no restriction and authorization”, the website states.

To date, sixty-one datasets are accessible on the portal, including data on the health of new-born infants in the country, the budget of the National Health Service, or the national use of eHealth.

Other examples include:

  • the capacity of hospitals and the waiting time in emergency;
  • the monitoring of the national cancer-screening program;
  • the results of the diabetic plan;
  • the patient’s use of medication in the public health system;
  • reimbursement requests.

Datasets are classified into four topics:

  • access (28 datasets);
  • efficiency (14 datasets);
  • quality (7 datasets);
  • health of the Portuguese (12 datasets).

Each dataset can be visualised through graphs or tables and cross-referenced with other datasets. They also can be exported in JSON, CSV and Excel format or be integrated in applications via APIs. User can also browse datasets through catalogues. Catalogues can be tagged as a favourite in order to receive a follow-up.

The portal also calculates the number of vaccines administered, public spending on medication, electronic prescriptions, and mammograms performed during the year.