Big Data Improves Healthcare for Immigrant and Refugee Women

How Can We Responsibly Harness the Power of Big Data to Improve Healthcare Access for Immigrant and Refugee Women?

Project Team: Shira Goldenberg (Health Sciences, SFU), Ruth Lavergne (Health Sciences, SFU), Mei-Ling Weidmeyer (Health Sciences, SFU). 

Big data can transform health care planning and delivery, but marginalized communities who would benefit most from strengthened systems are often not well-represented in this research. Despite a large number of BC women who are immigrants, there is a near –absence of population-level data on their healthcare access. In BC, we have a unique capacity to link administrative immigration and health services data to understand patterns of immigrant women’s health access. Prior to embarking on this research – which would constitute one of the largest immigrant health studies in Canada – meaningful community engagement is needed to ensure responsiveness to community priorities and address potential risks and benefits. Through community consultations, interviews, and focus groups, this project will draw upon and uniquely integrate the paradigms of ‘big data’ and community-based research to generate new knowledge, tools, and approaches to support the responsible use of data-intensive approaches to understanding healthcare access for immigrant women.