The Datum Project

Developing Literacy About Digital Health Data

The word datum, the singular of data, traces its roots to the Latin verb dare, which means "to give." Datum refers to something that has been given. When a healthcare patient consents to participate in a research study, they agree to give researchers information about their health and health outcomes. Researchers gather and analyze these data points, which collectively form a dataset or a collection of data. Our popular understanding of data, however, does not largely follow this idea of datum as a thing given. We tend to think of data with detachment. Data are factual and scientific.

Recent legislative and regulatory changes, influenced by the growing importance of data, are forcing researchers to think more carefully about the relational aspects of data. 

Health data are revolutionizing medicine by driving personalized approaches, informing evidence-based practices, enabling population health management, facilitating early interventions, supporting research and innovation, and transforming the way healthcare is delivered and monitored. By analyzing individual health data, healthcare providers can better understand a patient's unique characteristics, risk factors, and response to treatment. This allows for more tailored and precise medical interventions, such as targeted therapies and personalized treatment plans.

In this rapid evolving environment, patients, caregivers, and providers need to become better consumers of health data, most important, digital health data.

Datum is helping healthcare users better understand the legal and ethical implications of data through focused and accessible multimedia content. It is also seeking to engage researchers, healthcare professionals and academics to think more carefully about the persons behind the data and not take for granted our assumptions about the data that is being collected.

Datum is a project developed out of the Ludic Mind Studio, which supports the creation and adaptation of e-mental health technologies and interventions that are user-generated and based on co-design processes that promote shared decision-making, continuity of care, and overall quality care and cultural safety.

Datum by Ludic Mind Studio Logo




The Datum project has been made possible by the generous financial support of the Fondation Barreau du Quebec.

Fondation Barreau du Quebec Logo

We would also like to recognize the Douglas Mental Health Research Centre and McGill University for their continued support.

Douglas Research Centre Logo

Logo of McGill University








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