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€5 million budget made available to standardise health data

A European consortium of 22 partners, led by Associate Professor Peter Rijnbeek of the Department of Medical Informatics at the Erasmus MC, has made a €5 million budget available to health data experts wishing to standardise their databases. ‘The ongoing global pandemic has reinforced the need to ensure the right data are in the right place to answer the right question.’

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Sixty-one data partners are already part of the European network called the European Health Data and Evidence Network (EHDEN). New data partners are now invited to join the network. ‘Today, in Europe, we are challenged to generate insights from health data in understanding wellbeing, disease, treatments, outcomes and new therapeutics and devices. The data are difficult to use at scale, in a myriad of languages, different systems and structures, with challenging policy restrictions and technology considerations. Certainly, the historic year of 2020 and the ongoing global pandemic have reinforced the need to ensure the right data are in the right place to answer the right question, within the appropriate sociotechnical framework and governance’, says Rijnbeek. He is leading EHDEN, together with Nigel Hughes of Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., Belgium.

The plug analogy serves to illustrate the difficulty to use common tools in health data seen across Europe as data are stored in a myriad of languages, systems and structures.

The mission of EHDEN is to provide a new paradigm for the discovery and analysis of health data in Europe, by building a large-scale, federated network of data sources standardised to a common data model. In this network the tools are brought to the data and only the aggregated results are shared with the study leads to ensure patient privacy.

Partnerships

Collaboration is at the core of EHDEN, says Rijnbeek. ‘Key to success is enabling partnerships between those data partners who generate and use clinical data, those wishing to perform research on these data, and those who can enable this relationship. EHDEN can have a significant impact on patient care in Europe by enabling federated research on health data through standardisation of data and analytical pipelines to generate timely and reliable evidence.’

EHDEN welcomes all applications but applications from countries not yet (or minimally) represented in the EHDEN Network will be especially welcome.

More information about the current call with a €5 million budget can be found at the EHDEN website . The current call is a general call across therapeutic areas and diverse types of health data and closes on May 13th. EHDEN welcomes all applications but applications from countries not yet (or minimally) represented in the EHDEN Network will be especially welcome.

The European Health Data and Evidence Network (EHDEN) project was set up under the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) framework, with twenty-two partners, including academia, SMEs, patient associations, regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical companies.

The European Health Data & Evidence Network has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 806968. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.

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