6 December 2018

The minister for medical care and sport, Bruno Bruins, sent his recommendation regarding the use of big data in healthcare to the House of Representatives on 15 November. “Data has to be stored securely, but information has to flow where it is needed or wanted.” In order to securely share data, the Personal Health Train project was established. Peter-Bram ‘t Hoen, theme Nanomedicine, is one of the project leaders.

The application of big data is becoming more and more important in healthcare. The problem is that hospitals, researchers, and patients all collect data in their own systems. This makes exchanging and combining information difficult. To solve this problem, the FAIR data principles were launched in 2016. Organizations that follow these principles collect healthcare data that can be retrieved and that is open, uniform, and reusable. This standardization makes it easier to combine data.
The Personal Health Train project was established to enable the combining of data on a technical level. The basic principle for this is that the data stays with the party who collected it (“stations”) and that the “health trains” transport analyses and results between the data stations without taking the data itself.

Peter-Bram ‘t Hoen, theme Nanomedicine, is one of the project leaders of Personal Health Train: “The point is to make the individual citizen the center of sharing information. This is not only relevant for research, but also for care. We will create the technical tools with Personal Health Train. The minister is responsible for the legal frameworks around it. That he has now taken it on is an impulse for us to keep going.”
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