The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data (i~HD) has been formed as one of the key sustainable entities arising from the Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research (EHR4CR) and SemanticHealthNet projects, in collaboration with several other European projects and initiatives supported by the European Commission.
The vision of i~HD is to become the European organization of reference for guiding and catalyzing the best, most efficient and trustworthy uses of health data and interoperability, for optimizing health and knowledge discovery.
i~HD has been established in recognition that there is a need to tackle areas of challenge in the successful scaling up of innovations that critically rely on high-quality and interoperable health data, to sustain and propagate the results of health ICT research, and to specifically address obstacles to using health data that are not being addressed by other current initiatives.
It has been formed after wide consultation and engagement of many stakeholders to fill a recognised gap, to develop products and services that can help to maximise the value obtained by all stakeholders from health data, to support innovations in health maintenance, health care delivery and in knowledge discovery. It will importantly bring multiple stakeholder groups together in order to ensure that future solutions serve their collective needs and can be readily adopted affordably and at scale.
i~HD has been established as a European not for profit body, registered in Belgium through Royal Assent. It will be governed by its member stakeholders, public and private, through an elected Board and officers. It will be financed by a mixture of membership subscriptions, fees from providing services such as certification and accreditation, specific project grants and other income from education, training and expert advisory roles.
i~HD will initially focus on two key areas of need and opportunity: the reuse of health data for research, and semantic interoperability.
The main enablers we shall work on for the better and more trusted-research reuse of health data will be to develop and promote best practices in information governance and research data sharing, to certify health research platforms and service providers, to provide (voluntary) governance oversight of research platform operating environments. We will grow a network of excellence comprising hospitals, research units and research sponsors.
The main enablers we shall work on to promote semantic interoperability will be good practices in the development of interoperability assets and a framework for quality labelling them. We will develop and publish an online register of semantic interoperability assets, and grow an evidence base of benefits from semantic interoperability. We will form an Alliance of eHealth stakeholders to work together on future semantic standards development and to promote good adoption practices.
In our first year i~HD will particularly focus on securing the trust of the public and patients in the reuse of health data for research and on presenting the value to society from clinical research. We will also promote best practices in information governance and interoperability asset development, and we will launch the interoperability asset register.