Meet the EHDEN partners – Sulev Reisberg

Sulev Reisberg

University of Tartu

Introduce yourself and the University of Tartu?

The University of Tartu, founded in 1632, is the national university of Estonia, the only classical university in the country, and also the biggest and most prestigious one in Estonia. The Institute of Computer Science, where I am coming from, is one of the fastest-growing and most international institutes at the University of Tartu. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings Table, it is the leading university in computer science in Eastern and Central Europe. We have just recently moved to the brand new state-of-the-art building Delta Centre in Tartu.

I did my Master thesis in telecommunication, but my heart has always belonged to software programming, so I worked for a decade in the private sector as a software developer and project manager in the healthcare field. However, I truly missed the academic freedom and therefore returned to academia and completed my PhD in bioinformatics in 2019, combining genetics and electronic health records. Since then, I’ve been passionate about health informatics and personalised medicine.

What is your role in EHDEN and what do you personally hope to get out of this role?

After working with healthcare data for more than a decade, it became evident to me that it is not sustainable to invent & develop similar tools and database models independently from other research groups. I understood that we do need some common data models to rely on. Happily, at that time, I was involved in the IMI EMIF project, now in the IMI EHDEN project where we work on the same goal with an international team. I have two roles in EHDEN - first, to deal with security & privacy compliance issues; second - I’m developing a tool for detecting disease trajectories automatically from the data.

What would you consider success at the end of EHDEN?

EHDEN will be a success if the OMOP common data model is a known and well-accepted standard for health data owners and regulatory bodies in Europe by the end of the project.