Health-related data, one of the most sensitive types of data, is proliferating at a dizzying pace. Leaders in health and healthcare are in search of new models of data access that enable them to capture the value of such data and provide better patient care and drive innovation. The adoption of federated systems is one promising approach, offering a critical component in powering a sustainable, inclusive and transparent digital economy. The widespread use of federated data systems can stimulate innovation by allowing access to sensitive data while minimizing risks and unintended consequences. This paper is part of a Forum project, Breaking Barriers to Health Data, in which the health and data-policy communities navigate the complex landscape of data policies via the use of federated data systems.