Novellas Healthcare certified GDPR-compliant after i~HD’s IDHIS audit

i~HD President Dipak Kalra (left) congratulates Novellas CEO Tom Torfs (right). © Kamiel Maes

The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data’s (i~HD) newest certification programme has been formally launched during an occasion celebrating a lot of firsts. In the late summer of 2022, Prof. Dipak Kalra (i~HD President), representing i~HD’s certification board, awarded the i~HD IG1-2020 certificate to Novellas Healthcare NV for their patient support programme. The award was received by Mr. Tom Torfs, Novellas CEO.

© Kamiel Maes

“We are delighted to have worked with Novellas through our assessment of their organisational processes, staff capability and technology solutions, to help them to perfect their GDPR compliance and security safeguards, and finally to have issued them with the i~HD IDHIS Certificate.”
Prof. Dipak Kalra (i~HD President)

© Kamiel Maes

“We started an unknown journey with i~HD in the belief that by doing so, we can highlight a higher level of quality and boost trust for our clients. i~HD is not only the first information governance certification programme of its kind but also the first audit programme that is very constructive.”
Tom Torfs (Novellas CEO)

The IG1-2020 certificate is awarded to companies and organisations that have passed the IDHIS (Information Governance & Data Privacy for Health ICT Systems) audit. This is performed by external and expert auditors to check if an organisation’s health data governance execution is fully compliant with the European Commission’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Right from the start, Novellas entertained the audit with transparency and showed full cooperation with i~HD and the certification board.

© Kamiel Maes

“During the first meeting with Novellas, it quickly became evident that increasing business efficiency by gaining trust was a focus within the company.”
Geert Thienpont (i~HD Managing Director)

“The journey to obtain the certificate was accompanied by support and open communication. Constructive feedback throughout the process made both our companies better.”
Kelly Alix (Data Protection Officer for

The certification board found that Novellas is compliant with the six IDHIS audit criteria sets (with 142 criteria points) that focus on:

  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Information security management and implementation
  • Audit readiness
  • Data processing – ethical practice, impact assessments, minimisation, accuracy and retention
  • Enforcement and corrective action capability

For Nathan Lea, one of the IDHIS auditors, this is a testament to Novellas’ unwavering dedication to data governance.

© Kamiel Maes

“As auditor, I am satisfied that Novellas’ Patient Support Programmes operate to the highest standards for GDPR and best practice adherence when handling health data.” 
Nathan Lea (IDHIS auditor)

Novellas and i~HD also both recalled the smooth-sailing audit process, thanks to the close hand-in-hand efforts from both sides. For Novellas, their participation in the audit process and certification reflects the values that they uphold and their trust in the collaboration with i~HD. Novellas also said that the experience felt more “guided” rather than “audited” in an optimization process which now enables them to showcase their engagement, quality and accountability towards their clients.

© Kamiel Maes

According to i~HD’s Business Development and Audit Manager Christophe Maes, i~HD also provided training to Novellas on top of the audit, “The external GDPR experts of i~HD appreciated the readiness of the Novellas Healthcare staff to increase their GDPR maturity level. During the one-year journey, the i~HD experts assisted the staff with GDPR tutorials, GDPR implementation strategies and GDPR enforcement procedures.”

© Kamiel Maes

“i~HD has guided Novellas Healthcare perfectly in the optimization of processes within the company, which have an added value both internally and externally (towards clients).”
Inge Wyns (Quality and Compliance Manager for Novellas)

© Kamiel Maes

“i~HD proves that the true standards of audit practice are found within the auditor’s character: honesty, integrity, self-control and high ethical values. This way of working makes i~HD unique in the field.”
Anke Verheyen (International Project/Quality & Compliance Manager for Novellas)

Novellas team with IDHIS IG1-2020 certification and trophy ©Kamiel Maes

If you are interested to have the same certification to gain more trust in your organisation and company as data facilitators, click here.

The certification as a trophy handed over to Novellas © Kamiel Maes