FAIR, FHIR and OMOP major themes at Bio-IT World 2020

Bio-IT World 2020 took place last week. Virtually, for the first time ever! For an event that’s traditionally defined by a large exhibit hall and people catching up face to face, this was obviously a sweeping change… But despite this, the meeting still felt like “Bio-IT” and there was a lot of interaction via the virtual Pathable platform. The Hyve’s colleagues actively participated in the presentations and panel discussions around FAIR, data strategy and open science.

Data lakes and FAIR

In the Data Science and Analytics Technologies track, many of the discussions revolved around how organizations can scale up a data science and machine learning team. The most mentioned bottleneck for this transformation was not technology or infrastructure, but people and culture: data science requires new skills and a multidisciplinary focus where communication and bridging gaps is at least as important as a firm understanding of the science and technology. However, perhaps the biggest issue at the moment is the lack of sufficient interoperable and reusable data, ready to be used for analytics and decision support. Our founder, Kees van Bochove, highlighted this in his talk on FAIR and the (tr)end of data lakes, which you can view below:

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Real world data and OHDSI

In the Open Access and Collaborations track, key themes were the availability of Real World Data at scale to further our understanding of human biology and disease as well as interoperability standards such as FHIR and OMOP. Not surprisingly, COVID-19 came up in many of the talks as a topic where new, fast-paced initiatives were started over the last few months to further our understanding of this new disease. A good example of such an initiative is the OHDSI (Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics) COVID-19 studyathon held in March 2020. The online meeting produced a number of high-profile investigations, such as the study of the safety profile of hydroxychloroquine in real world data from nearly 1 million prevalent users of the drug across the globe, which went on to inform public health guidance from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The OMOP data model used by the OHDSI community for the studyathon featured in several talks and panel discussions during the Bio-IT conference, including a talk on open science and the EHDEN project by Kees:

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