Online course

Protecting Health Data in the Modern Age: Getting to Grips with the GDPR

Learn how the GDPR helps to protect health data and get familiar with rights, obligations, risks and safeguards.

Protecting Health Data in the Modern Age: Getting to Grips with the GDPR

Join this course to understand how health data is protected

People use technologies to track their fitness and health. Medical and health professionals use technologies to treat patients. These technologies generate a lot of health data. With technological developments in the health sector come questions of privacy.

This course will explore the protection of health data in light of the GDPR. You will learn about rights, obligations, risks, safeguards and many other related aspects. By exploring the changing data protection landscape, you will improve your awareness of how to protect health data in an evolving digital and technical world.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsMobile phones. Wearables. Computers. Tablets. Electronic patient files. MRI scans. Ultrasounds. ECGs. X-rays. All these electronic solutions and more are used on a daily basis. People use sports apps to track their progress. Health care professionals use tablets to access electronic patient files and exchange information with their colleagues. These solutions generate a lot of data. Do you know what happens to this health data? What if the state has exchanged between health care professionals, or even crosses borders? What if commercial apps are used in a medical context? How is this data kept secure against hacking? How is this data protected? The new General Data Protection Regulation provides legal protection to address these questions and more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 secondsDuring this course, you will meet the girl next door, Anna. Anna's case will help us to find answers in light of the GDPR. She will serve as an example throughout the course. During this course, you will learn to identify possible risks to processing health data in light of new technological developments. You will explore how to address these risks, in light of the GDPR. Various topics, such as rights and obligations, cross-border transfer, and safeguards will be dealt with to tackle questions of protecting sensitive data. If you're interested in finding out more about the protection of health data-- Come join our course.

What topics will you cover?

  • Privacy, data protection and medical confidentiality
  • Health data
  • Legal considerations
  • Rights and obligations
  • Risks and safeguards
  • Modern technologies
  • Cross-border aspects
  • Medical research

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
    This course started 5 November 2018

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify legal terminology as well as the legal obligations as regards health data.
  • Identify risks involved in processing health data, in particular in light of technological developments.
  • Identify the rights of data subjects as regards health data.
  • Explore the impact of the legal framework on new technologies used in healthcare, more specifically apps and wearables.
  • Investigate the possibilities of using health data for research purposes.

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at anyone who is interested in the legal framework concerning health data. It will be of particular interest to medical and health professionals as well as medical researchers, insurers, IT developers, students, patients and other individuals who want to learn more about data protection and the GDPR as regards health data.

There are no requirements or expected pre-knowledge required to follow this course successfully. You may also be interested in Understanding the General Data Protection Regulation.

Who will you learn with?

Melania Tudorica

Research fellow EU projects/ PhD researcher at the University of Groningen working on privacy issues, in particular in healthcare.

Trix Mulder

PhD researcher and lecturer at the University of Groningen working on privacy issues, in particular in healthcare.

Jeanne Mifsud Bonnici

Professor of European Technology Law and Human Rights and Co-Leader of the STeP Research Team at the University of Groningen.

Who developed the course?

The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands.

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  • Access to this course for 4 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes


  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: