Strong EHDEN presence at OHDSI Europe Symposium 2022


Under the “All Aboard!” banner, the OHDSI Europe Symposium 2022 was launched on the majestic SS Rotterdam, which ran from 24 - 26 June in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The event saw 350 participants come together from across Europe and globally.

The Symposium brought together not only EHDEN/OHDSI colleagues and others working in the real world data/real world evidence domain, but also served as a solid platform to showcase progress with a vast variety of evidence generation updates from researchers and Data Partners across Europe.

It was also an opportunity for EHDEN to introduce its new Portal and Data Catalogue and share a number of other recent achievements. EHDEN has a close working relationship with OHDSI and its European Chapter, which is led by Peter Rijnbeek, Professor of Medical Informatics, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (EHDEN Coordinator).

Commenting on the Symposium, Peter Rijnbeek, said, “Having such a large group of committed researchers and colleagues come together “live”, once again, was very welcome. The spirit of collaboration that is so vital to the success of an open science community was on full display throughout the entire event and was truly inspiring. Perhaps most importantly, it was clear to everyone that evidence generation is multiplying thanks to the OMOP common data model and  networks like EHDEN, which are changing the face of European research and raising everyone’s expectations about the opportunity to conduct quality research faster than ever before.”

EHDEN Portal and Data Catalogue Launch

The first release of the EHDEN Portal and Data Catalogue, with open access to the research community, is an important EHDEN milestone. It demonstrates how EHDEN’s mission to provide a new paradigm for the discovery and analysis of health data in Europe, by building a large-scale, federated network of data sources standardised to a common data model (OMOP) is becoming a reality.

The Portal supports collaborative research that will translate into better insights into disease, faster medicines’ development and real world outcomes of treatment, thanks to an accelerated workflow that will go from months and years to days and weeks. The full story can be read here and a short video summary is here below.


“The EHDEN Portal is a true game-changer. Launching it at the Symposium was indeed a proud moment for the many colleagues who have been working so diligently to get us this far. We look forward to the user feedback we will receive over the summer from this initial launch so that we can make any needed adjustments and ensure that evidence generation across Europe continues to move full speed ahead.

“I’d also like to extend my thanks to the many EHDEN colleagues who helped make the Symposium such a success – seeing everyone’s dedication and commitment in action is very gratifying,” said, Nigel Hughes, Scientific Director, Epidemiology, Global R&D, Janssen – and EHDEN Co-Lead.

Evidence generation growth

As the second “E” in EHDEN – “Evidence” gains momentum, many presentations and posters featured updates on how real world evidence standardised to the OMOP common data model, is helping to drive the paradigm shift being seen across the research community. Day 1 kicked off with a welcome introduction from Peter Rijnbeek and was followed by a presentation from George Hripcsak, Vivian Beaumont Allen Professor and Chair, Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University Medical Center on the evolution of the OHDSI journey. The significant work that is being carried out across Europe, including national nodes and other regional and global initiatives were featured in both the “Cruise around the OHDSI Community” and “Rapid fire collaborator sessions”. All of these sessions can be viewed here and here.  Julia Kurps’, Team Lead - Real World Data at The Hyve (Co-Lead technical Work Package EHDEN) full presentation on the EHDEN Portal/Data Catalogue launch can be found below.


Additionally, a summary video of George and Peter can be seen here below.


Dani Prieto-Alhambra, MD, PhD Professor of Pharmaco- and Device Epidemiology, University of Oxford UK, Prof. of RWE and Methods Research, Erasmus Medical Center, and EHDEN Work Package 1 Lead also shared his insights in where evidence generation is today and will hopefully be in the future in the summary video.


Complementary to this, EHDEN Data Partners and SMEs from across Europe came together at the event to discuss their experiences mapping data to the OMOP common data model and the ETL process. With this process now complete, several Data Partners/SMEs provided their views on how they see their move to the next and most important evidence generation phase.


The Symposium also featured more than eighty posters that provided the backdrop for delegates to review and discuss at length for more than three hours on Day 1. EHDEN and its Data Partners were proud to have more than twenty posters on display. Topics included: the EHDEN Academy; General & Scientific EHDEN overviews; EHDEN's Portal Roadmap.

Education & training expansion

One of EHDEN’s pillars is to provide quality education for the open science community, at scale. With a current curriculum of seventeen courses, some 2,500 participants from more than sixty-seven countries have enroled in the free, on-line EHDEN Academy. Nigel Hughes led an Education workshop at the Symposium that focused on the critical role of education and training within the global OHDSI community, which will help ensure researchers are well trained with the tools and methodologies needed to map data to the common data model, how to collaborate in large-scale networks, how to navigate the ETL process, and much more. You can learn more about the workshop from this short video – keep an eye out for other workshop videos that will be posted soon.


Suffice it to say, EHDEN’s contribution to the OHDSI Europe Symposium 2022 was considerable and underscores the close EHDEN/OHDSI collaboration that has been growing from strength to strength. The full OHDSI Europe Symposium 2022 story with an overview of presentations is available here and will be expanded as more videos become available.