The Ontario Health Data Platform (OHDP) COVID-19 is a federated high-performance computing environment for secure, accurate, and privacy-protective linkage of large health data sets that are currently held across various organizations to allow for big data analytics, including machine learning, that will strengthen evidence for Ontario’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and its related impacts.
The data will be gathered from a range of databases and be integrated on a secure platform, so researchers can analyze and gain insights to help with understanding and combatting COVID-19. Researchers will help with:
- Understanding the disease
- Case testing and surveillance
- Disease management
- Health equity and vulnerable populations
- Public health measures
- Infection, prevention and control in specific settings
- Frontline workers
- Supply chain
- Data analytics, modeling and measurement
- Rapidly expand the breadth, scale, and timeliness of research by mobilizing integrated data to aid in the province’s fight against COVID-19.
- Enable advanced research methods by providing access to a user-centered, dedicated high-performance computing environment.
- Protect the privacy and confidentiality of personal health information through innovative strategies and effective data stewardship.
- Collect data sets currently held in multiple locations and link them at the individual level to provide critical information about the nature and spread of COVID-19, the health and treatment consequences, and the impact of alternative policies in Ontario.
- Provide a computing platform where these data may be securely accessed with the high-performance computing resources needed for machine learning.
- Limit access to these data sets to trustworthy researchers, who are bound by law, ethics, the terms of their employment, and their research grants to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the data they work with.
- Provide access to rapid approval by a dedicated research ethics board that is obligated to ensure that the OHDP’s access framework protects privacy and confidentiality and projects are consistent with all ethical guidelines governing research.
Guiding Principles for Data Access and Research Application ProcessStandardized One-Window Approach for Researchers
- Streamlined intake and approvals including single application process for access to OHDP
- User-centric approach assesses project needs and provides appropriate data sets and level of access in accordance with privacy safeguards and the appropriate legislative authority for the project
- Encourages broad range of researchers
- Supports onboarding and training for those not accustomed to working with this data
- Supports exploratory research via machine learning (ML)
- Ensure alignment to priorities of the Ministry of Health (MOH) for Ontario
Date modified: 2020-09-22