Arrow Left Dutch COVID-19 Data Support Programme

Providing expertise and tools for data sharing

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. Health-RI connects a network of expertise and provides tools and services for data sharing.

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). 

The importance of radiology images in the current COVID-19 pandemic is evident as it may provide further insights into the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. However, in order to apply deep learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, a large amount of data and images are needed. Therefore, the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Radiologie (NVvR) is collaborating with radiologists, researchers and Health-RI in setting up a first trial of a national registry of radiology images (NCIF).

The NVvR encourages hospitals to submit their radiology images of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to the NCIF. Using XNAT for image archiving and eCRFs for related clinical data, such a national registry offers important possibilities in the field of artificial intelligence and imaging. See more on the NCIF here (available in Dutch only).

Providing access to data - Podium

Podium, a ‘webshop’ system allows access to collections, efficiently and safely. It can be used by researchers and organizations alike to manage and facilitate the research request workflow of data, samples, or image collections. The CAPACITY Data Access Committee (DAC) uses Podium to review and handle requests for COVID-19 data. Find out more about CAPACITY here.

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. 

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. Already available is the ‘guide to data governance in COVID-19 studies. Also, make sure to use the standard data and material transfer agreement templates that were recently approved by all UMC’s. 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).

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