The 2019 OHDSI Symposium.

The 5th edition of the OHDSI Symposium took place between Sunday September 15th and Tuesday September 17th at North Bethesda (Maryland, US). This year, 425 people attended the conference of which around one third were first time attendees. As usual, the conference had 1 day which is packed with interesting keynote talks, panel discussions and a collaborator showcase featuring 10 software demos and nearly 80 poster presentations. The other 2 days of the conference offered a more hands-on format with tutorial workshops on many different technical aspects related to real world data. Several EHDEN consortium members were part of the faculty of these courses.

A packed conference room at the 5th ODHSI Symposium

New as of this year was the Women in Real-World Analytics Leadership Forum, hosted by the Women of OHDSI. For a recap of this session, see the OHDSI YouTube channel. OHDSI has always had a strong focus on inclusivity and diversity and the Women of OHDSI initiative was launched to re-enforce that.

Quite a few of our EHDEN partners were present at the conference and several of them were given the opportunity to show their work and the work being undertaken in the EHDEN project:

Clair Blacketer (Associate Director at Janssen R&D, US) discussed data quality checks, and how community tools allow researchers to test for plausibility, conformance and completeness. This work is an amazing community effort geared towards broader acceptance of real-world data in regulatory decision making. Clair performed this work for the EHDEN project as part of her PhD at Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam.

Peter Rijnbeek (Associate Professor, Health Data Sciences at the Erasmus Medical Centre, NL) opened the ‘Community Evidence in Action’ session by introducing the audience to the EHDEN project.

Dani Prieto-Alhambra (Professor, University of Oxford, UK) presented the results of the OHDSI/EHDEN Study-A-Thon held at Oxford University that demonstrated the power of the OMOP CDM and analytical pipelines to generate reliable evidence in a timely manner.

Clair Blacketer discusses OHDSI data quality checks, and how community tools allow researchers to test for plausibility, conformance and completeness.

Besides these presentations, EHDEN partners also had several posters in the collaborator showcase:

Henrik John (EMC) presented a poster and software demo: The EHDEN Academy: Enabling Large-Scale Community Training‘. The EHDEN Academy is currently being used to train the Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) which were selected by the EHDEN SME call, but will open up to the whole community in due course.

Development and validation of patient-level prediction models for adverse outcomes following total knee arthroplasty’ (Ross D. Williams, MSc, Jenna M. Reps PhD, Peter R. Rijnbeek, Dani Prieto Alhambra PhD, Patrick B. Ryan PhD) (EHDEN WP3

This year, OHDSI awarded no less than 7 Titan awards. These awards are a public vote by the OHDSI community members to recognize OHDSI collaborators for their contributions towards OHDSI’s mission. This year’s Titan award for Community Leadership, which recognizes an individual for their leadership in advancing the OHDSI mission, was awarded to Prof. Peter Rijnbeek. The Titan award for Clinical Application, which recognizes extraordinary contributions in generating clinical evidence that improves health by informing better health decisions and better care, was awarded to Prof. Daniel Prieto-Alhambra and his team for his work on the OHDSI/EHDEN Study-a-thon.

Prof. Daniel Prieto-Alhambra (left) and prof. Peter Rijnbeek (right) with their Titan Award.

And last but certainly not least, the ‘Book of OHDSI’ was revealed at the conference. The book is 470 pages long and contains twenty chapters in 5 different sections: the OHDSI Community, Uniform Data Representation, Data Analytics, Evidence Quality, and OHDSI Studies. It is a collaborative effort of many OHDSI community members, with several EHDEN partners being a co-author. More information about the launch and the Book of OHDSI itself can be found on the OHDSI website.

The book is freely available online, but can also be ordered as a paperback copy at production price via Amazon.

The book of OHDSI.

The 2019 U.S. Symposium engaged and excited both OHDSI veterans and newcomers to continue working towards the generation of real-world evidence to improve the future of healthcare. We look forward to building on that when we welcome the community to the 2020 OHDSI European Symposium, held March 27-29 at the University of Oxford. In the meantime, stay tuned for more information from both OHDSI and EHDEN on research presented at the 2019 Symposium and updates on the 2020 European and U.S. Symposia.