Today, we present an overview of the BioMedIT project, coordinated by SIB’s Personalized Health Informatics Group, as the first of a series of articles on SIB’s role in the development of a personalized health research infrastructure in Switzerland.
Where are we today?
The first successful steps towards a coordinated encryption/decryption workflow were made in September 2018. They included a computational analysis workflow in the form of a container to demonstrate the feasibility of robust, distributed data analysis across the BioMedIT network.
An “SPHN information security policy” clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the various parties was also rolled out in September, and a Security Awareness training workshop was held in Zurich at the end of last year.
Today, the high-performance computing infrastructure (including both storage and computing) dedicated to BioMedIT is already operational in Zurich. It is currently being deployed in Basel, and will follow in Lausanne in the coming months.
Martin Fox, BioMedIT Project Manager at SIB’s Personalized Health Informatics Group: “Not all BioMedIT nodes evolve at the same pace, each location having its own technical constraints. While it is one thing to have the individual nodes ready to operate and welcoming users, it is another to have the full network interoperable and securely connected to the hospital data warehouses. I am confident that by the end of 2019 we will have three BioMedIT nodes on line, and the frameworks in place to efficiently process data for personalized health research”.
How does BioMedIT interface with SPHN?
The interface between the project and the SPHN initiative is done through SIB’s Personalized Health Informatics Group, which manages both BioMedIT and SPHN’s Data Coordination Centre (DCC).
SPHN lays the foundations to facilitate research projects in personalized health, such as ethical, legal and technical frameworks to organize the data exchange. It is supervised by the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS). The initiative also allocates funding to projects designed to develop or implement infrastructure, as well as research projects pushing the development of clinical data management systems.
The DCC manages the implementation of nationwide standards for data semantics and exchange mechanisms in order to meet the interoperability goals of the initiative. It guides the infrastructure developments according to the scientific needs of the abovementioned personalized health research projects making use of clinical data.