Lars Halvorsen and Jared Houghtaling from edenceHealth, a Belgian-based SME illustrate their role, working as an EHDEN certified SME with Data Partners, focusing on the company and experiences, technical challenges, and lessons learned.
edenceHealth started in 2018 and has a small core team with the addition of freelancers, and were in the first group of certified SMEs, and have also been working in non-EHDEN projects in Europe and Africa. As an SME it is covering the broad variety of activities from concept mapping, full harmonisation, CMD inspection reports and models/clinical applications, harnessing the potential of data once mapped to the OMOP CDM. Being able to work with the EHDEN Academy for training, the iteration of the OHDSI open source toolkit and access to EHDEN-specific software packages have been very advantageous, with direct impact on the research, inclusive of COVID-19 being conducted already within the network and rapidly growing network. In outlining the technical challenges, edenceHealth has utilised a software suite, edenceExplorer and a docker environment, alongside the OHDSI tools, such as ATLAS or ACHILLES, via webAPI. Particular focus in the presentation on vocabularies, especially with reference to custom concepts, vocabulary versioning and concept mapping tools and some of the cross-project challenges in ensuring consistency and uniformity of approach. Inter, and intra-project variation of course is problematic, but also generation of fake records to facilitate accurate development has posed a problem too.
Finally some lessons learned and a wishlist for future developments and organisation of projects are discussed.