CSC: New report examines technical solutions for sharing and using health data

12 Oct 2021 | Network Updates | Update from CSC – IT CENTER FOR SCIENCE
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The joint action Towards the European Health Data Space TEHDAS, was launched last year by European Union to develop joint principles for the use of health data. The new report published by the project provides information on the current practices of several existing data sharing initiatives addressing the requirements for data sharing and secondary use of health and biomedical data.

The goal of TEHDAS is to develop joint European principles for the utilization of health data and promote more efficient use of health data for the benefit of health, health care, research, and decision-making. The results of the TEHDAS project will provide elements to the European Commission’s legislative proposal on the European Health Data Space (EHDS). The creation of a European Health Data Space is one of the priorities of the Commission for the years 2019-2025.

The new report shows the current practices among existing data sharing initiatives

The new report of the TEHDAS project is based on an analysis of survey responses from 14 European data sharing initiatives. The trend among data sharing initiatives is towards allowing data access only in a secure computing environment hosted by the initiative. The security and privacy of data are ensured by different measures including anonymization and pseudonymization that make the data record less identifiable. The information gathered via the survey will help further to identify how the technical infrastructure of the European Health Data Space (EHDS) should be developed to support the current and future needs on sharing and accessing health data.

“The TEHDAS project is looking for alternatives to the technical and semantic interoperability of the secondary use of health data. To define architectural options for EHDS, it is essential to first review and understand existing data sharing solutions and processes. The report focuses on identifying potential technologies and processes and serves as a basis for making recommendations,” says Senior Project Coordinator Helena Lodenius from CSC.

Finland is a frontrunner in enabling the secondary use of health data. Finland's experience will certainly be useful in advancing the goals. Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra coordinates and CSC ­ -IT Center for Science is one of Finnish associate partners in the TEHDAS project.

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This article was first published on October 7 by CSC.

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