Open Call Summary Recap

As covered in Part l of the series, the world is still very much fighting the SARS-CoV- 2 pandemic, and in many countries, is still striving to deal with a growing number of COVID-19 patients. Clinicians, scientists, governments and the public all want to know more about characterising patients with COVID-19, how best to manage their care, and if certain treatments are safe and effective.

In response to this urgent challenge, EHDEN (European Health Data and Evidence Network) called out to European Data Partners to become part of an open science group that would share their representative and relevant (anonymised) COVID-19 clinical data, which would be standardised by putting it into the OMOP common data model. 

Part II provides the final results of the EHDEN Open Call process, shares some insights from several Data Partners that have been approved to participate in this initiative, and looks ahead to next steps.

A strong response

EHDEN’s COVID-19 Rapid Collaboration Call ran from 16 April – 14 May. A panel of acknowledged bioinformatics experts reviewed the applications:

* 75 applications were submitted from twenty countries across Europe

* 25 Data Partners have been accepted from ten countries

* Includes data from 1 million COVID-19-tested patients; 228,000 of whom tested positive.

What Data Partners are saying:

“Lots of energy is put into data collection, and there’s an urgent need to merge this broad range of efforts. The OHDSI/OMOP common data model, vocabulary and tools provide a great way to facilitate that. I’m confident that the Open Call will help us generate meaningful evidence to detect spreading patterns, flares, waves and ultimately treat COVID-19 patients. It could also very well serve as a blueprint for managing the next outbreak, pandemic or global health threat.”

Ronald Cornet, PhD

Associate professor Medical Informatics

Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute

The Netherlands

“EHDEN is managing to make health data harmonisation a reality, and is becoming one of the few solutions for conducting standardised and accurate research in a timely manner. To combat COVID-19 successfully, we need to share a common vision, join forces and support each other’s initiatives to reach goals that benefit our countries, Europe and the rest of the world. I’m certain the Open Call is already having an impact on the fight against the novel Coronavirus. Our multidisciplinary team of clinical researchers and scientists is making a herculean effort to ensure the data we have at our disposal generates real-word evidence that will benefit our patients and reduce pressure on healthcare systems.”

Iannis Drakos, PhD

Head of Big Data and Personalized Medicine

Center for Surgical Science, Zealand University Hospital


We are very much looking forward to collaborating with the twenty-five Data Partners selected in our Rapid Collaboration Call over the coming months, whilst we work together on harmonising their data to the OMOP common data model, and our ETL Taskforce will be doing so with a considerable focus. Conducting all of this work remotely is challenging, but not impossible. We are already organised with expert colleagues in EHDEN and with some of our certified SMEs and will work in a phased approach with all twenty-five, who will be prioritised over the coming weeks to initiate the standardisation work.

Keep an eye out for Part lll in the series where we will provide insights into our collective work here, and in eventually being ready to conduct collaborative observational studies.