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Personal Health Train now departs from its own platform

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At a sold-out Health-RI conference, the Dutch secretary-general of the Ministry of Health officially launched the Personal Health Train network platform. It marked the official start of the PHT network, a community-effort to advance the analysis of health data from various sources, in a safe, efficient and responsible way.

Erik Gerritsen, secretary general of the Dutch Ministry of Health, officially launched the PHT network platform, in presence of the PHT coalition. Photo by: Thijs Rooimans

Personal Health Train (PHT) is the collective term for technologies that enable people to use, combine and reuse health data from various sources. It can give controlled access to data, while ensuring privacy protection and optimal engagement of individual patients and citizens. An example is given by IKNL which uses the PHT to find treatments for rare forms of cancer. This requires researchers to combine data from many national and international sources.

The PHT network is a learning community

In order to harmonize the development of the PHT concept, a PHT-learning community was initiated. This PHT network is determined to support and accelerate further technological PHT-development and to clarify the legal and societal framework for the PHT. To work with each others datasets you need to agree on the terms. It is a community effort by definition.

The new PHT-platform facilitates the PHT network in sharing experience, knowledge and collaborate on the Personal Health Train. As a member of the network, IKNL already developed a free and open source implementation of the PHT

Pivotal in health care

The PHT network has made serious efforts to develop the PHT for the Dutch Health care sector.

Patient expert Ineke Hazelzet: “Patient data can help future patients, but we want to retain our privacy and not want others to look into our personal health records. The Personal Health Train makes it possible.

Health insurers also recognize the PHT as an important tool to accelerate development of better treatments but also to determine which innovations have most impact.

And as the secretary-general from the Ministry of Health, Erik Gerritsen stated: “The PHT offers great opportunity for the Netherlands to use our good quality data on a large scale. It gives us a competive advantage compared to China and the US.”

Broadly supported

Health-RI actively supports the PHT network: Leone Flikweert, CEO of Health-RI: “We are well-aware that you need to take an effort to work together. We connect initiatives that work towards data driven health”.

PHT community manager Inga Tharun observes the PHT moving from a special tool for scientists towards a more common approach in health care. “This is why we are happy the launch of the Personal Health Train is part of the Dutch e-health week”.

Further information is available here.

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