Building Block: Shared data repositories
Maturity: BETA
Shared data repositories logo.

Short Description: Shared space to store data for a specified knowledge area that external applications use, often providing domain-specific functionality and data presentations.

Full Description: The shared data repositories ICT Building Blocks is one of the most important components, as it provides a common place to store data that external applications can use. Repositories support the storage, retrieval, management and exchange of data between different applications. The goal of repositories is to make data available for any authorized application that needs to use it. Access to repositories must follow countries’ data privacy and user consent regulations. Repositories make data available and accessible through interoperable interfaces. Metadata information is used to classify data in these repositories in terms of types of data, domains of value, critical values (syntactic information) and meaning of data (semantic description).

Other Names: Shared domain repositories

Key Digital Functionalities:

  • Allows external applications to change (by adding, modifying or removing data) functionalities without losing the information itself
  • Ensures that information flows when it is needed to where it is needed, and with whom it is authorized to be shared
  • Enables client, or their authorized representative, with partial or full access to their own records, or to capture input from medical or mobile devices
  • Establishes cross relationships and linkages between different data points to enable ready access to related clusters of data stored in disparate locations
  • Ensures privacy through automated rules for access and operation for data sharing

Examples of use in different sectors:

  • Agriculture sector: 
    • Plant pest database, such as the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) new, searchable database, known as the Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirement (FAVIR) database
    • This database is accessed by other software such as those related to plant protection and quarantine to assess the pest risk profile of agro-commodities imported from different countries
    • Pest map, crop coverage and weather data are combined to create pest propensity modeling and index-based insurance packages for farmers
  • Education sector: 
    • Repositories of learner profiles and progression records accessible across government systems
  • Health sector: 
    • Shared health record: Collection of patient records typically provided by many clinically related systems, made available for consumption by those who have the necessary rights and need to see the information. The systems or applications used by insurers or payers of subsidized care may be given partial access to shared health records in order to approve payment for services
    • Encounter: Data pertaining to an interaction between a patient and healthcare provider for the purpose of assessing the health status of a patient or for providing patient services
    • Clinical documentation: Component of the patient’s medical record that documents clinical observations and services
    • Medications: Information pertaining to a patient’s medication history. This includes those medications taken at home, prescribed medications, and also those administered in care settings such as a hospital or an outpatient clinic
    • Immunizations: Records of a patient’s immunization history
    • Laboratory: Contains the results of laboratory tests performed on clinical specimens
    • Imaging: Contains records of diagnostic imaging as well as clinician notes and other information stored with the images
    • There may also be repositories of insurance claims, subsidies, or out-of-pocket payments linked to health service records


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