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HL7 Europe is part of FAIR4Health, a European project on the advanced use and sharing of data from health research

Fair4Health

Taking part in a project financed by the European Commission to make effective the application of the FAIR principles and obtain a strong impact on health research and even on health care.

FAIR4Health is a project funded by the H2020 Science with and for Society (SwafS-04-2018) call for proposals. It is carried out by 17 partners from 11 different countries and lasts 36 months. FAIR4Health, as proposed by this call, promotes the application of FAIR principles in data derived from publicly funded health research initiatives, so that they can be shared and reused within the European Union (EU) health research community, defining an effective EU-wide strategy for the use of FAIR in Health.

Applying FAIR principles to make research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable, and from a responsible approach, research and health care data (based on Digital Health Records) will be shared and reused in a secure, controlled ecosystem, in accordance with the legal and ethical framework.

FAIR4Health (https://www.fair4health.eu/) is the first proposal to transfer this initiative to clinical research in Europe, and is expected to have a strong impact on research results and on health and social care:

  • Accelerating scientific discovery in the most relevant domain for humanity as it is Human Health.
  • Improving the strength and quality of the scientific evidence provided by members of the FAIR4Health community and increasing its capacity for reproducibility by opening up the community to society.
  • Providing innovative Digital Health services that enable the fluid application of new evidence obtained in clinical practice, specifically in the management of complex chronic patients.

The FAIR4Health consortium holds a General Assembly every 6 months to ensure monitoring the achievements of the objectives through technical and scientific meetings of all the tasks included in the work plan. The most recent one was held virtually on September 15 and 16, 2020, coordinated by the Andalusian Health Service (Spain), and the next one is planned for March 2021.

The FAIR4Health consortium, led by the Andalusian Health Service (Spain), consists of the following partners: Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud (Spain), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain), Atos Spain SA (Spain), University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology (Austria), HL7 Europe (Belgium), Institut für Medizinische Informatik, Statistik und Epidemiologie - Universität Leipzig KöR (Germany), Academic Medical Center of University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), Université de Genčve (Switzerland), Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, University of Braunschweig (Germany), Universitŕ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy), European Federation of Medical Informatics (Switzerland), Digital Curation Centre from University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Garrigues (Spain), Software Research and Development Consultancy (Turkey), University of Porto (Portugal), and the Institute of Pulmonary Diseases of Vojvodine (Serbia).

One of the most important issues addressed by the project is the formation and training of the researchers on the functioning of the tools developed to be used in the validation and clinical demonstration of the FAIR4Health use cases. At this stage, the FAIR4Health platform development and deployment is finalized and the FAIR4Health agent software undergoes vigorous testing. The two pathfinder case studies, which have been designed by the clinical partners and approved by each regional Ethics Committee reflect the following clinical protocols:

  • Identification of multimorbidity patterns and correlation of polypharmacy in the risk of mortality in the elderly.
  • Early prediction service of the risk of readmission in 30 days in patients with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

FAIR4Health contributes to standardization with the FHIR4FAIR project at HL7 International hosted by the HL7 Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) WG in collaboration with the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and other key stakeholders. Most recently, FAIR4Health successfully organized a track in HL7 FHIR Connectathon 26 to explore how the FAIR principles can be supported by the HL7 FHIR standards. Experience from this work will guide the way for a FAIR4Health Certification Roadmap.

The next steps of the FAIR4Health progress will validate the FAIR4Health platform and demonstrate the potential impact on health outcomes. The two pathfinder case studies prototypes will be executed by FAIR4Health agents that are located at the data owners' facilities in Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland.

Link to FAIR4Health social networks:

Twitter linkedIn Fair4Health YouTube

For more information on the engagement of HL7 Europe in FAIR4Health and the FHIR4FAIR project please contact: Giorgio dot Cangioli at HL7europe.org.

FAIR4Health is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement number 824666.

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