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Dutch COVID-19 Data Support Programme

Health-RI launched the Dutch COVID-19 Data Support Programme. To support investigators and health care professionals with tools and services in their search for ways to overcome the pandemic and its health consequences. 


In response to the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) local research actions are taking place across the world. Health-RI, the Dutch national initiative to facilitate and stimulate an integrated health data infrastructure, will facilitate investigators by connecting communities, providing data services and tools and presenting an overview of COVID-19 related initiatives. 

COVID-19 related initiatives

Data services and tools to facilitate COVID-19 research 

The battle against COVID-19 is heavily data dependent. Finding the right data sets, curating them where necessary, making them accessible to researchers, linking - data from many different sources and making rich data sets reusable often is nontrivial. 

COVID-19 Research Tips

Overview COVID-19 infrastructure initiatives

In alignment with RIVM, VWS, SURF, NFU and all the UMC’s, Health-RI is actively collecting COVID-19 related data initiatives to promote collaboration and prevent fragmentation of research efforts.

Go to COVID-19 related initiatives

Making data findable - Catalogue

Health-RI is updating and adding COVID-19 related databanks, biobanks and sample collections in the Catalogue. Collections are marked with a ‘COVID-19’ filter to make ongoing research, available resources and collaboration possibilities clear to researchers.

You can make your new COVID-19 data collection available through the Catalogue, or disclose COVID-19 relevant information or services in your existing collection in the BBMRI-nl Catalogue.

Make your data findable

Providing access to data - Podium  

Podium, a ‘webshop’ system will give access to data collections, efficiently and safely. It can be used by researchers and organizations alike to manage and facilitate the research request workflow of data/samples/images. 

Making data interoperable- Personal Health Train 

Data are located at various places. Health-RI can help researchers with using the Personal Health Train principles to make optimal use of the distributed data. Health-RI also offers expertise on more traditional methods of connecting data. 

Sharing Radiology images - XNAT 

Health-RI hosts and supports a solid pipeline for managing large quantities of radiology images, pseudonymisation of DICOM images and making these available for research (CTP and XNAT). 

COVID-19 – Interoperable CRFs

If you collect clinical data from COVID-19 patients, make sure to use the WHO case record forms. The March 23rd 2020 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) - RAPID VERSION can be downloaded here.

Castor has made these forms available in xml format, ready to use in any research data capture system. If necessary, the iCRF generator can be used for conversion.

VODAN, together with GO-FAIR, AmsterdamUMC (CovidPredict: central national patient database), RadboudUMC and the NKI, are working on a semantic data model and code book to make data created with these forms interoperable. They also work on expanding these forms with specific parameters for a.o. radiology related data (e.g. CORAD scores). The model aims to provide semantic references to the questions and answers of the form. The latest version of this model can be found in BioPortal.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask

Support with Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI)

Answers to many ELSI related questions can be found on the ELSI Servicedesk. Together with the ELSI Servicedesk and several partners, Health-RI is working on urgent needs that have arisen in the context of COVID-19. For example: how do we organize patients’ consent or objection in a fast, legally and ethically sound way when collecting data or samples for COVID-19 research. Furthermore, guidelines and formats for the access and use of collected data and samples are being developed. As new guidelines or procedures become available, they will be published on the ELSI Servicedesk. To ensure that we will address the right needs, we welcome your experiences, hurdles and issues. Please email to (put “ELSI” in the subject line).

Best practices for data sharing policies

Health-RI plans to publish several best practices for data sharing policies and templates that can be used as a starter kit for new COVID-19 studies that want to make their data available to other researchers. Download a first draft of a guide to data governance in COVID-19 studies (in Dutch)

Call for COVID-19 data initiatives 

Health-RI is actively collecting starting and ongoing COVID-19 related initiatives. This will make collaborations easier and prevent fragmented research.

Submit your initiative

Connecting research and health communities  

Connecting research efforts will lead to faster results. Health-RI offers a platform for collaboration between communities such as clinical researchers, physicians, biobankers, data experts and IT experts.  

Health-RI is collaborating with VWS, RIVM and SURF and has full commitment from partnering organizations such as, ELXIR-NL, DTL, TraIT, Personal Health Train, and the ELSI servicedesk. 

Health-RI connects to international initiatives such as VODAN (Virus Outbreak Data Network) and others such as EOSC-Life. 

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