Publications Études de l'Ifri

Health Data Governance: Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic in Europe, China, and the United States Etudes de l'Ifri, July 2021

The health crisis has triggered a tectonic movement in the recomposition of health data governance and protection models around the world, while accelerating the investment of large digital companies in the field of e-health.


The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the shortcomings of pre-existing governance models in every region of the world and the need to move towards a model of public health crisis management "through health data".

For Europe and for France in particular, the health crisis has revealed a long "technological innocence". Despite a strategic awakening, questions remain about the ability of Europeans to cooperate effectively and move towards a common digital space in health.

In the United States, the pandemic has created tensions around the health data governance model – particularly on the articulation between the federal government and state authorities. Changes are announced by President Joe Biden, which tend towards a model of global regulation of personal data.

In China, the pandemic has accelerated the transition to a model of surveillance capitalism which could lead in the short term to a new power struggle between the regime and the Chinese digital giants.

Finally, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the rise of digital companies, which are now positioning themselves on the entire value chain of health data, from its raw collection via connected objects to its mass processing for insurance purposes. They now have all the levers in hand to economically value this massive data with the help of artificial intelligence.


Health Data Governance: Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic in China, Europe and the United States
COVID-19 Digital geopolitics China Europe United States