In order to bring Switzerland at the forefront of research in personalized health, the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) has launched a national research initiative entitled Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN). SPHN will establish nationwide interoperability of clinical, “omics” and other health-related data, allowing researchers in Switzerland to share information and collaborate efficiently. Starting in January 2017, SPHN will bring together university hospitals, schools of higher education, research institutes, organizations working in the area of personalized health, as well as other health-related research activities across Switzerland. To achieve its goals, information generated at the various organizations and personalized health platforms will have to become mutually compatible (“semantically interoperable”).
SIB plays a leading role in the SPHN initiative and the Personalized Health Informatics (PHI) Group in particular is in charge of setting up and running two types of data infrastructures:
- Data Coordination Centre (DCC): The DCC will deal with data interoperability and data management nationwide to ensure that research projects can efficiently collaborate and share data across the various Swiss hospitals and research institutions. It will be coordinating the establishment of standards for data generation and annotation, data quality indicators, semantic interoperability and exchange formats.
- BioMedIT: This research infrastructure aims to establish a coordinated nationwide network of secure IT infrastructures at Swiss universities to support biomedical research in Switzerland. BioMedIT will form an integral part of SIB’s contribution to the SPHN initiative – providing expertise, software workflows, and high-performance storage and computing resources for analyzing and interpreting large volumes of clinical and omics data within SPHN.