Scope of Things

Dipak Kalra on Effective Data and Knowledge Sharing Through Research Data Networks

August 2, 2022


Real-world data certainly plays a substantial role in understanding human health and disease. However, scientists find it increasingly difficult to extract research-specific data from massive unstructured and uncoded data sets. “What we are seeing now is a more proactive anticipatory mission to connect multiple repositories of health data and to enable a strongly de-identified, anonymized, data set to be available for research questions,” Dipak Kalra, President of The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data, tells host Deborah Borfitz.

In this episode, Kalra speaks about the rise of research data networks and the facilitation of more effective and affordable research. He provides details about the growing challenges facing research teams, and explains the data protection regulations in force within Europe. Finally, Kalra shares his thoughts on how COVID changed the public’s perception of health data and encouraged quick and innovative knowledge sharing. “The pandemic is a situation from which we can learn and on which we must build because we would be negligent if we don’t,” warns Kalra. “The pandemic has shown how important it is to learn from big data in near to real-time in a way that absolutely transcends country boundaries.”

Dipak Kalra, President, The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data
Dipak Kalra, Ph.D., FRCGP, FBCS, British, is the President of The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data. He plays a leading international role in the research and development of electronic health records (EHR), including the requirements and models to ensure the robust long-term preservation of clinical meaning and protection of privacy. He leads the development of the International Organization for Standardization standards on EHR interoperability, personal health records, EHR requirements, and has contributed to several EHR security and confidentiality standards.

He participates in multiple EU Horizon 2020 and IMI projects including the generation of real-world evidence in pregnancy, the governance of patient-centric clinical trials, frameworks for the design and governance of mobile health programmes, scaling up the quality, interoperability and the reuse of health data for research including inputs to the European Health Data Space, scaling up of the collection and use of health outcomes towards more value-based care, and initiatives to explain the value of clinical research to the public. Dipak is a professor of Health Informatics at University College London and Visiting Professor of Health Informatics at the University of Gent.