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Ajou research team gets Gates Foundation’s fund to provide Covid-19 data
  • By Kim Yoon-mi
  • Published 2020.04.22 14:34
  • Updated 2020.04.23 14:59
  • comments 0

Ajou University Medical Center said its research team has won the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s research fund to provide local medical big data for an international study to fight the new coronavirus.

Professor Park Rae-woong of the Biomedical Informatics Department at Ajou University School of Medicine

The research team, led by Professor Park Rae-woong of the Biomedical Informatics Department of Ajou University School of Medicine, signed an agreement with the foundation for a joint international study to provide common data model-based big data of Covid-19 patients at two general hospitals in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province from March 26 to Oct. 1.

The common data model anonymizes and standardizes patients’ electronic medical records in line with international standards. Researchers prepare an analysis program according to the standardized model, send the data to the participating organizations, and get the analyzed statistics back. The model allows researchers to produce useful medical knowledge while strictly protecting sensitive personal medical information.

Earlier, Park’s team built a medical big data network platform, called FeederNet, so that medical scientists can easily collaborate and generate large-scale data using the common data model of the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI).

With the Gates Foundation’s fund, the research team can quickly convert medical data generated after the Covid-19 outbreak into the FeederNet. This will help the global community to understand the nature and risks associated with Covid-19 infection, as well as the effects and side effects of different drugs used in treatment, Ajou University Medical Center said.

“The joint international study will increase the understanding of the Covid-19 pandemic, generate real-world evidence, and enhance collaboration among researchers around the world to find solutions to end the pandemic,” Park said.

Park also leads the Federated E-Health Big Data for Evidence Renovation Network (FEEDER-NET), a national project funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy to standardize clinical big data at 63 local medical institutions.

He is a founding member of OHDSI, a non-profit international research consortium where over 200 institutions around the world participate.

Established in 2013, the organization operates the world’s only multi-institutional research network. It has converted clinical data of over 2 billion people into the common data model so far.


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