About OHDP

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:

    • Increasing detection of COVID-19
    • Discovering risk factors for vulnerable populations
    • Predicting when and where outbreaks may happen
    • Evaluating how preventative and treatment measures are working
    • Identifying where to allocate equipment and other resources

Goals

    • 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.

 

Objectives

    • 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.

 

Principles

    • Equity
    • Privacy
    • Transparency
    • Timeliness 
    • Simplicity
    • Pragmatism

 

Guiding Principles for Data Access and Research Application Process

Standardized 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

Fair and Transparent Approach

  • 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)

Linked to Government Priorities

  • Ensure alignment to priorities of the Ministry of Health (MOH) for Ontario

   

Date modified: 2020-07-14