An introduction to data and information in health and social care
An introduction to data and information in health and social care

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5 Genetic databases and disease

Section 2 looked at data and information from two different perspectives: that of the individual and that of health and social care systems. The type of data you have will dictate both why you want to process it using a computer and, to a large extent, how that is done.

This and the next section contain two short case studies whose unifying theme is that the computer and its programs are tools for working with data. The two studies provide an interesting contrast between:

  • simple data in large and complex structures (which require large and complex programs to handle them)
  • complex data which a complex program helps a non-expert to handle in some interesting, creative, flexible ways.

This section uses a case study to show how simple data (the four bases in DNA) can be combined in different ways to create a huge and complex collection of information.

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