What is Data Linkage

What is Data Linkage

What is data linkage?

Data linkage, in simple terms, is a method of bringing together information, from different sources, but relating to the same individual or event. PHRN data linkage units link existing information from different health and health related data collections to provide data to researchers approved research. This is done using methods which minimise the risks to individual privacy.

What are the benefits of data linkage?

Many of our life experiences from the moment we are born until our death generate data that is collected and used for a range of purposes. For example, information is routinely collected when you go to school, visit a hospital, when you get married or divorced and when you have a baby. This data is collected by different organisations all over Australia.

Linking this data together is essential for a wide range of research including:

  • Investigating common and rare diseases
  • Comparing different modalities to treat diseases
  • Real world evaluation of policies, services, drugs and devices
  • Studying the origin, associated conditions and outcomes of disease
  • Monitoring the health and wellbeing of Australians across the life course

For examples of research conducted using linked data click here.

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UPDATES

Latest Impact Story

In the long run: How data linkage supports clinical trials. When QIMR Berghofer researcher Professor Rachel Neale was studying vitamin D, she knew it had been linked to a host of serious diseases. Professor Neale says linked data—such as hospital records, cancer registers and death records—have been incredibly important for the study.

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NEWS & EVENTS

LATEST NEWS

Our next Linkage Luminaries webinar will be taking place on Wednesday 23 June at 12noon AEST, 11.30am ACST, 10am AWST with Professor David Preen, Chair in Public Health, UWA School of Population and Global Health. The webinar series aims to showcase some of Australia's leading researchers who have used data linkage in their research.

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