Setting data in motion at the 7th Health-RI Conference

A number of The Hyve’s colleagues attended the 7th Health-RI Conference, held Thursday, 6 October, in our hometown Utrecht. We were thrilled to be able to meet colleagues and partners from academia, healthcare, and industry in person at the Jaarbeurs Media Plaza after last year's (very successful) virtual conference. The Hyve was represented by Harry van Haaften, Julia Kurps, Elisa Cirillo, Wouter Franke, Melissa Fernando, and Jessica Singh. Continue reading to find out how The Hyve participated and what they thought of this year’s Health-RI conference.

About Health-RI

Health-RI is a Dutch national initiative aimed at facilitating and stimulating an integrated health data infrastructure that is accessible to researchers, citizens, care providers, and industry. They want to enable the optimal use of health data, samples, and images, implement a learning healthcare system and accelerate personalized healthcare.

The Health-RI conference is a great place to meet and discuss ideas on making healthcare more data-driven. The focus of this year's conference was "Setting data in motion."

Our contribution

The Hyve’s contribution consisted of two posters that we presented in the Data Village. The first poster was on “Mapping UK Biobank to the OMOP CDM: development of USAGI,” and the second poster was about “Mapping UK Biobank to the OMOP CDM: challenges and solutions.” Sofia Bazaou presented these posters on behalf of the Real World Data (RWD) team. We also set up a booth in Health-RI’s Data Village and were delighted to talk to everyone who stopped by.

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One of the highlights of the morning session was the Keynote speech by Vibeke van der Sprong (Deputy Director General of the Danish Health Data Authority) titled “What can we learn from Denmark?” The Danish Health Data Authority is instrumental in providing coherent health data and digital solutions that benefit patients and practitioners and supports research and administrative purposes in the healthcare sector. We all thought it was interesting to learn more about Denmark's system to efficiently use and share patient data.

We also enjoyed a thought-provoking panel discussion with several Dutch key stakeholder organizations on how to realize a health data infrastructure in the Netherlands.

Elisa Cirillo, Team Lead of the Research Data, noted that the Health-RI community's vision for the Dutch healthcare system is to encourage the implementation of the first feasible steps and not only keep on talking about it. The Danish system is a good example to follow and learn from. One remark during the panel discussion that resonated with Elisa was that a number of expert parties need to take more responsibility for their actions when it comes to implementing the vision. Once those experts take decisive action, others should trust them and follow their example.

In the afternoon, there were four exciting parallel sessions. Wouter Franke, Strategic Data Consultant at The Hyve, attended the track (Inter)national data and sample sharing – in the Netherlands, Europe, and beyond.
In this session, the speakers shared three examples of European initiatives that set data in motion. Franke noted that they all have two elements in common:

  1. Data harmonization is a crucial factor in sharing data.

  2. Using catalogs and federated analysis is one way to safeguard control and privacy.

The speakers also stressed the need to include different experts to be able to realize these programs; only with a multitude of perspectives can you implement such far-reaching programs (ELSI, technical, domain experts). To quote one of the speakers: "Harmonisation is as much social engineering as it is technical engineering."

Julia Kurps, Team Lead of our Real World Data team, attended the track on Improving conditions for a healthy life with health data - from regional initiatives to a national learning curve. Her main takeaway was that trust is key to setting data into motion and ensuring that you get the best out of health data.

Overall, the conference was very well organized. We enjoyed the informative and inspiring talks, interactive sessions, engaging posters, and great networking sessions. To us, the 7th Health-RI conference was exciting and thought-provoking. We can’t wait to come back next year.

Written by

Jessica Singh