Eindhoven University of Technology: Start of development unique platform for data exchange in healthcare

In the medical and scientific world, there is a growing demand for a system that enables the exchange of data between different institutions in a safe and simple manner. While data exchange within a single institution, such as a hospital, is often well documented, a system for doing so between different institutions, such as between hospitals and universities, is currently lacking.

e/MTIC – a large regional partnership in the field of medical technology between TU/e, Philips, Catharina Ziekenhuis, Máxima Medisch Centrum, and the Kempenhaeghe Expertise Centre – is now the first consortium that has started implementing a medical data platform, the Health Data Portal (HDP), that transcends the walls of a single institution.

BREAKTHROUGHS IN HEALTHCARE
“We see that researchers like to use information that comes from different sources. For example, if you want to investigate the link between cardiovascular disease and a difficult pregnancy, you need data from different domains. This will lead to breakthroughs in healthcare,” argues Kees van der Klauw, ecosystem manager at e/MTIC.

“In practice, no system has yet been developed for this, so that PhD students spend more time arranging and collecting data than on the actual research. We want to change that. The challenge here is great, because you have to deal with the ethics, privacy and legal aspects of different types of institutes.”

In practice, no system has yet been developed for this, so that PhD students spend more time arranging and collecting data than they spend on the actual research.

SCALING UP ACROSS DISCIPLINES
The HDP is initially intended to be rolled out on a regional scale. e/MTIC aims to have a first implementation of the system up and running in the summer of next year, enabling the structured sharing of data across different parties. From then on, the system can be scaled up across disciplines, thanks to the use of common methods and infrastructures.

This is taking place within the public-private initiative Health-RI, which aims to realise an integrated national infrastructure for health data and was granted €69 million from the National Growth Fund for this purpose earlier this year. Together with Health-RI, e/MTIC is looking at both the technical support and the (legal) preconditions and agreements needed to make the HDP a success.

e/MTIC is one of Health-RI’s eight regional hubs. The university medical centres (UMCs) represent the other seven regional hubs. The kick-off of the Health-RI project takes place today.

SHARING EXPERIENCES
Van der Klauw: “We are now taking up the gauntlet and can share our architecture and experiences with other institutions and hubs. By subsequently linking all the Health-RI nodes together, a large ecosystem is created. The idea is that this will eventually lead to a nationwide umbrella system, which will also involve frontline parties and even commercial organisations such as pharmacists.”

“After all, we know that data analytics will play an increasingly important role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of almost all conditions, controlling costs and improving care. So the importance of this system and the objective of realising a national integrated health data infrastructure is clear to everyone.”

FAST TRACK TO CLINICAL INNOVATION
Carmen van Vilsteren, Director of Health at TU/e and Chair of Eindhoven MedTech Innovation Center (e/MTIC): “From the inception of e/MTIC we knew we needed an HDP to realise our ambition of fast track to clinical innovation. I am very pleased that we are now going to start construction so that we can deploy it on a national level as soon as possible.”

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