The Leuven-based scale-up LynxCare, Belgian big data market leader in the healthcare sector, has been selected as data partner for the public-private partnership European Health Data & Evidence Network (EHDEN). Together with 27 other players, the network will work to harmonise clinical data in therapeutic areas, including COVID-19, on an international scale into a common data model. The aim is to share and manage real-world data and research methodologies in a smarter and more efficient way. This will increase the speed of research and improve outcomes for patients.
Healthcare today is becoming ever more complex, with growing expectations of advancing insights into biology, diseases, their diagnosis, treatment and outcomes, and innovation in those treatments. Also, working in individual institutions to generate insights is much more challenging in the 21st century. Large-scale and multilateral collaboration is becoming increasingly important, which is demonstrated by the joint response that is crucial in the fight against COVID-19.
The public-private partnership European Health Data & Evidence Network, supported by the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, responds to this need to deliver faster results in research. That is why EHDEN, a project within the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) that is part of the Big Data For Better Health Outcomes (BD4BO) initiative, is creating an international federated network of Data Partners for the harmonisation of clinical data into a common data model. This model should, on the one hand, allow for more efficient sharing and management of real-world data and research methodologies. On the other hand, the aim is to expand education in open science and existing international collaborations. Ultimately, this should provide faster evidence in the context of medical research for better outcomes for the patient.
The network consists of entities such as hospitals, SMEs, primary care providers, the OHDSI framework and network, researchers, regulators and many others, and now includes 28 data partners from 11 countries. In addition to LynxCare and pioneering organisations from other countries such as King's College London, CEGEDIM Health Data from France and the Danish Center for Surgical Science, the Belgian Medaman BV is also part of the network.
150 million health records
Collectively, the Data Partners have upwards of 150 million health records being mapped to the common data model for either diverse disease areas, or specifically for COVID-19. Associate Prof. Peter Rijnbeek of Erasmus University Rotterdam and coordinator of EHDEN, states: “We are very keen to work together with our Data Partners, SMEs and collaborators to build the research network we all need for real world research in healthcare. The response to our open calls has been very positive and forms a strong foundation for EHDEN’s work.”
Georges De Feu, founder of LynxCare: "Standardization and cooperation on an international scale are crucial to improve the quality of healthcare and to meet medical challenges such as COVID-19, which increase the pressure on healthcare at home and abroad. We are proud to be part of this international network with LynxCare and together with the commitment of the participating hospitals, we will use all our expertise as big data market leader to improve the quality and speed of care through EHDEN.”
The key to the success of the collaboration is the support of federated research through standardized analytical tools. Moreover, EHDEN has been set up with the aim of making medical insights available without exchanging data and will at all times be able to safeguard the patient's privacy in accordance with the GDPR. Research use cases, within EHDEN, and by Data Partners and researchers, will be conducted to evaluate the network, as well as to establish an open science community in the longer term.