From the Director: Building national infrastructure to support the sharing and reuse of health research data

Monash Partners’ data platform sits across our partnership supporting systems, strategies and processes to optimise the use of health data for healthcare improvement and research. Activities include data sharing agreements and principles, agreed and now being implemented across the Partners as well as work on optimising consistent data related ethics and governance and our ongoing event series including an upcoming data privacy and access event. We have also completed extensive work on developing and implementing a Learning Health System Framework. Our senior data platform project lead, Alison Johnson, has worked tirelessly in these areas for years and is now moving on to retirement. I would like to personally take this opportunity to thank her for her contributions and legacy in improving the systems and processes vital to data-driven healthcare improvement.

Another key activity of our data platform is optimising accessibility and use of clinical trial data. A wealth of data is created through health research studies, including information about the people taking part in the research, their health and their response to interventions being studied.

Data collected in the context of one study may be valuable to many other studies, such as guiding clinical practice, informing the design of new studies or new analyses to generate new research findings. However, issues of patient privacy and the naturally siloed approaches of research groups and government jurisdictions have created barriers to efficient data sharing.

The Health Studies Australian National Data Asset (HeSANDA), a program of the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), aims to build national infrastructure to support the sharing and reuse of health research data in a way that brings value to the research community, increases the efficiency and impact of research, and improves the health of the Australian community.

Nine nodes form the current HeSanda network. These nine nodes provide a broad national footprint encompassing 72 health research organisations including 18 universities, 10 medical research institutes, 19 health service operators, 16 clinical trial networks and nine other organisations.

Learn more about our involvement here and watch this space for further updates.