OHDSI Global Symposium, Rockville, Maryland US, 14-16th October 2022

EHDEN colleagues were delighted to participate and present at this year’s OHDSI Symposium, the first in person following the COVID-19 lockdowns.

With more than 400 colleagues from around the world, the three days were split into a whole day conference, an all-day tutorial and then work group meetings and exposure of these to OHDSI colleagues. The final day included an all-hands workgroup meeting, which brought together more than 100 collaborators to identify both challenges and collaboration opportunities moving forward. Remarkably, as ever, a considerable number of colleagues stayed throughout the three days over the weekend, participating in these sessions. Though there were a considerable number of experts and mentors, veterans of OHDSI, there were also many new faces, as noviciates or intermediates in their experience of OHDSI.

During the symposium on day one, initiated with a State of the Community overview by George Hripcsak, Columbia University, there was a focus through the day on regulatory aspects of using RWD, the OMOP CDM and standardised analytical pipeline and methods, from the FDA, and Peter Rijnbeek, Coordinator of EHDEN, Director of DARWIN EU Coordinating Centre. Lightning presentations across tools, skills, and methods developments, as well as clinical applications, including two EHDEN colleagues, Tom Seinen and Cynthia Yang, both in WP3, and at Erasmus Medical Centre. A presentation on improving our methods beyond initial cohort and now data diagnostics, by Martijn Schuemie, Johnson & Johnson, and Patrick Ryan, Johnson & Johnson/Columbia University was perhaps the most thought-provoking of the first day in developing a proposition for enhancing quality control of our studies. All presentations from the first day’s symposium can be found here, and the highest number of posters and software demonstrations to date, compared to past meetings, can be viewed here. More videos and presentations will follow on OHDSI.org.

In day two, a whole day tutorial, presented innovatively for the first time as an introductory, ‘taster menu’ for many of our tools and methods being used for evidence generation. Participants were led through sessions with a hands-on experience of multiple tools, skills and methods as outlined in the agenda below, by international experts. Importantly, the logical flow of the day was to emulate the journey from source data through the OMOP CDM to designing studies, focusing on the building blocks for characterisation, effect estimation and prediction studies. At each step was an emphasis on quality control and optimisation of the input and outputs to ensure reduction in error and standardisation, and therefore ability to replicate steps.

Feedback was very positive, and this will likely be a template for future tutorials, and meanwhile we will be taking this material and expanding on it within the EHDEN Academy, which is increasingly a one-stop training resource across OHDSI.

During the second and third day, multiple workgroups met to discuss recent progress, take stock, and to plan going forward. EHDEN colleagues are collaborating also as OHDSI members and the outputs of the work covered will impact on OHDSI widely, but also on our own goals with EHDEN, as well as programmes such as the European Medicines Agency’s DARWIN EU.

Also, for EHDEN, we lead the Education WG, and the collaboration with international colleagues, institutes and EHDEN Academy is increasingly important to todays and tomorrow’s evidence generators in using the OHDSI research framework and OMOP CDM. This impacts across all the WGs, but also those who maybe noviciates or intermediate-experienced in OHDSI, and the wider open science, research community, who need to upskill to be able to utilise OMOP-mapped data optimally, with the appropriate methods, being comfortable with the wide array of open source tools now and being developed. OHDSI never sleeps.

Congratulations to the 2022 Titan Award winners at EHDEN Consortium Partners:

  • Melanie Philofsky, Odysseus Data Services: Data Standards
  • Xintong Li, University of Oxford: Clinical Applications
  • Paul Nagy, Johns Hopkins University: Community Leadership (a member of the EHDEN Academy leadership)


Lastly, and as presented at the end of the first day’s symposium, a celebration of the OHDSI community and many who are active in it, was also a reminder of the enjoyment we all have in collaborating together: