Holistic Approach to Data Linkage at Monash University

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Nadine Andrew
Chris Mac Manus
Komathy Padmanabhan
Mark Lucas
Anitha Kannan


Monash University’s health researchers are at the forefront of Health, Epidemiological and Translational research. Powered by research funding of over $69 million per year, Monash encompasses 13+ registries, 44+ clinical trials and 47+ cohort studies underpinned by complex multimodal, large and often sensitive datasets. Many of these research activities are occurring in isolation. Opportunities exist to better deliver higher impact research at scale through capacity building in data sharing.

Objectives and Approach
We have designed this session to demonstrate how significant investment in health data platform infrastructure by a University, can support best practice in data linkage and health research.

Content will include:

  1. An overview of Helix – people as a platform, research stakeholders, and key capabilities.

  2. Institutional data governance and sharing capabilities – linking two or more researcher held datasets exampled by a use-case of linking biobank data to a clinical registry dataset.

  3. Monash Helix data linkage working group – established to develop a community of practice to advance data linkage capabilities across Monash with a focus on: knowledge sharing; ethics, governance and data security; analytic training; and improved access to external administrative datasets.

  4. Secure eResearch Platform (SeRP) – developed by Swansea University who have partnered with Monash University to bring their best practice framework and technologies in managing sensitive health data to Monash researchers and their national and international collaborators.

  5. Future directions - participation in defining the strategic priorities of the Health Studies National Data Asset Program by creating distributed data infrastructure capability to develop, share and link FAIR data collections from the government, research and health care sectors.

The session will facilitate discussions on how we can build on these activities, both nationally and internationally, to develop a community of practice around knowledge sharing and best practice in data linkage.

Article Details

How to Cite
Andrew, N., Mac Manus, C., Padmanabhan, K., Lucas, M. and Kannan, A. (2020) “Holistic Approach to Data Linkage at Monash University”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 5(5). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v5i5.1586.

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