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A common infrastructure for measurement, follow-up, and data management

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What exactly is to be measured and what common terms are to be used? Where may one find interesting data for analysis in the work of preventing childhood obesity? These are issues that the work package Measurement, Follow-up and Data Management looks into.

Simply described, the work is about creating a common rail or infrastructure, which also facilitates new digital working methods and data exchange. The digital infrastructure is needed both to assess the current situation and to evaluate the initiatives that will be implemented in the future.

During the autumn of 2020, an extensive inventory was carried out to find out which terms and measurement indicators are used today when working with prevention of childhood obesity. The inversion has been made in municipalities and county councils, as well as at national and international level.

The infrastructure will form the basis for much of the work done in other work packages within Prevention of Childhood Obesity, such as Best Practice and Grand Challenge

Two workshops

Another important area is to find out where different types of data, which can be linked to the prevention of childhood obesity, are located. In order not to get caught up in the traditional way of thinking, two workshops have been arranged where representatives of many different actors have been invited.

– We easily get caught up in thinking about health and medical care such as maternity care centres, child care centres and child clinics, but there are many other important actors. Everything from playful training for children, to the local grocery store and library. By taking in data from many different sources, we can get a better overall picture of the child, says Jovanna Dahlgren, professor of pediatric endocrinology and chief physician at Drottning Silvia’s Children’s Hospital, who leads Measurement, Follow-up and Data Management.

Taking advantage of new technology

The work package also looks into how to take advantage of new technology when storing, sharing and using data, and at the same time ensuring the individual’s integrity and data security.

– Sweden is in the middle of an IT revolution and the work with E-health has begun in healthcare, but we are late compared to the business community in taking advantage of IT solutions, says Jovanna Dahlgren.

An important focus during 2021 is to get a clear picture of what is legally possible, for example how the regions can legally share data between them.

– It is becoming more and more clear that it is the parents who should have easy access to the children’s data. For example, there may be a database, which in the long run is linked to an app, where the families see what data is stored about the child and themselves choose which data they want different actors to have access to, says Jovanna Dahlgren.

Important to collaborate

Since the focus is on the preventive work, this would mean that families can also download health information themselves. Through the app they may also be able to take part in various educations that are relevant based on the child’s health data.

– What has become apparent to me is how important it is that various actors collaborate even more around the child, due to the multifactorial condition of childhood obesity. It has also been gratifying to see how many actors we are who are passionate about these issues and really want to contribute to change, says Jovanna Dahlgren.