Interview: MTG supporting Portugal’s healthcare transformation

Portugal has been an active contributor to the building of an EU-wide ecosystem for the federated analyses of real world data standardised to the OMOP Common Data Model – and this thanks in no small part to the EHDEN SME - MTG Research & Development Lab. EHDEN spoke with MTG’s Founder, Tiago Taveira-Gomes, MD ME MSc PhD, to learn first-hand how they are supporting the healthcare transformation in Portugal and across Europe.

First tell us a bit about MTG.

Tiago Taveira-Gomes: MTG Research & Development Lab comprises a dedicated team of biomedical scientists, doctors, scholars, and engineers. Together, we combine expertise and knowledge with partners and their data in the hopes of better understanding diseases and injuries, always with the aspiration to support the improvement of healthcare systems around the world. We place a strong emphasis on meticulous research in real world evidence and Implementation Science. Our commitment has guided us to seek research collaborations and form partnerships with various institutions worldwide.

How is being an EHDEN SME benefiting MTG?

Tiago Taveira-Gomes: As a trained and certified EHDEN SME, MTG has been able to play an active role supporting many Portuguese Data Partners to harmonise their data to the OMOP Common Data Model. This important initiative underscores the need for data harmonisation across Portuguese and European healthcare institutions. Data harmonisation isn't just a technical process, it helps improve our ability to share real world data and significantly speed up the research and analysis process, which ultimately leads to more informed healthcare decisions, and builds trust in data – and this is what MTG is all about.

What does being part of a federated data network mean to MTG?

Tiago Taveira-Gomes: First and foremost, it has enabled us to collaborate with many European institutions. To date, we have established data harmonisation partnerships with fifteen Portuguese healthcare and academic institutions both within and outside of EHDEN. We have been harmonising clinical records of several hundred million people from disease registries, electronic healthcare records, claims data and national registries. In Portugal, we have been conducting mostly full-scale data harmonisation for institutions that provide primary and secondary care, which together cover the majority of the Portuguese population. Recently, we also took part in the newly created Portuguese OHDSI node, and plan to bring many of these institutions into the node. This collaboration strengthens our ability to share our study initiatives and learning across the node. Since joining EHDEN, we have published over twenty research papers, and are helping these institutions become autonomous in using the ecosystem tools to accelerate their research.

EHDEN gave us exposure to a broad range of research and analysis tools, security requirements and data formats, from cloud databases, to raw data files within restricted research environments. We're very grateful for the opportunity to contribute to Portugal and Europe's evolving healthcare landscape and for the growth experience we derive from such diverse clinical, technical and legal landscapes.

What’s on the horizon for MTG?

Tiago Taveira-Gomes: We see EHDEN and DARWIN-EU as cornerstone projects that will drive better healthcare outcomes across Europe. These projects hold great potential for data partners to improve the quality of care they provide, tailored to the needs of the populations they serve. The vision behind these projects has the potential to cause a paradigm shift in the way institutions use healthcare data for their decision-making processes, paving the way to increased safety, effectiveness and sustainability of healthcare across Europe.

As a company founded by clinicians, it is our moral duty to provide support to every healthcare institution that seeks our help to walk this path for the sake of the people they care for. We take great pride and feel immense gratitude in what we have accomplished thus far, and we look forward to playing an active role in this journey.