i~HD and its community is so proud to inform you that our President Prof. Dr. Dipak Kalra was awarded with a Honorary Doctorate for his immeasurable effort and power in order to align all health data stakeholders in the re-use of the health data.

On October 22nd, the inauguration of the Hasselt University Data Science Institute welcomed 3 new Honorary Doctors. In awarding three honorary doctorate degrees in data science, Hasselt University emphasises the importance of this rising field,: across education, research and application.

Academic session:

Prof. Dr. Wiliam Cleveland (Purdue University)

Dr. Cleveland took the participants during his talk “ The State of Statistics in the 20th Century and How Data Science Changed it All” on the journey Statistics made during the 20th century. Emphasising the importance of collaboration of different data science departments in order to take the correct analysis of data to the next generation.

Prof. em. Dr. ir. Jan Rabaey ( EECS Dept, University Califiornia, Berkley)

In his lecture “Societal values in digital innovation –  a technologist’s perspective” he pointed the threats, the norms, the achievements  and the opportunities digital innovations can bring to the society

Prof. Dr. Dipak Kalra President of i~HD  (Visiting Professor University Ghent and Professor of Health Informatics University College London)

“Accelerating research through the greater use of big health data”; even after two, three decades of advocating the importance for innovation through health data the work is still not finished.  Within the ecosystem we have to work together, we have to get access to the data break down the silo’s.

Capturing data, assembling data, analysing data, interpreting data, learning and improving the health interventions seems to be a basic continuous improvement cycle, but as Dipak Kalra stated, we hardly ever do it! A lot of fractures in the circle, missing links are the reasons that healthcare is not yet “data driven”.

This has major implications on the barrier existing between the healthcare system and the clinical research. The clinical trials often under-recruit, sometimes fail, take a lot of time, costs a lot of money and this sometimes results in pressures saving lives drugs being delayed. Examples are given by Dipak Kalra. The clinical trials brought Dipak Karla to the next important issue in using health data, the societal acceptability of reusing health data.

We need to find the right balance between the rights of the individual and the benefits for society. A greater transparency will help to achieve the goal namely acceleration research! Dipak Kalra ended his lecture by showing the audience some Big Health Data sharing initiatives.

Award Ceremony Honorary Doctorates

The laudatio of Prof. Dr. Dipak Kalra’s was given by the promotor Prof. Dr. Ir. Liesbet Peeters and the co-promotors Prof. Dr. Pieter Vandervoort and  Prof. Dr. Paul Dendaele.

Dipak Kalra (President of i~HD) is honoured for his academic journey, his crucial role, his driving force in multiple large scale health data projects and his particular skill to bring together the multi stakeholders of the health data ecosystem, formalised in i~HD (the Institute for innovation through Health Data).

Many words of respect were uttered for his continuous work in emphasizing and facilitating the transparency of health data, because Good reuse of Good data saves lives and will transform the healthcare system. This makes him one of THE unicorns in the health data field, reflected through his presidency within i~HD.

“The only way forward is to work together”, one of Dipak’s quotes, points the importance of co-creation. The sometimes bumpy journey, as he calls it, towards a trustworthy use of health data,  guided in the way Dipak does, is very much appreciated by all stakeholders in general and by his promotor and co-promotors specifically.

Dear Dipak, we are proud you are the President of i~HD!