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EOSC-Nordic as proof of concept

Cecilie Maagaard Winther

EOSC-Nordic is mentioned as an important project for proof of concept in the visions for a Nordic health cloud called the Nordic Commons.

The last two years both scientists and policymakers have been working on a report with recommendation for an infrastructure to enable the secondary use of medical data across borders in the Nordics.

On the 10th of December 2019 the project published their report “A vision of a Nordic secure digital infrastructure for health data: The Nordic Commons”. In the report the EOSC-Nordic project is mentioned as an important proof of concept of how to share sensitive data across borders.

WP5 use case adopted from Nordic Commons

Specifically, it concerns a use case with precision medicine from work package 5 that was developed within the framework of the Nordic Commons and is now being implemented in EOSC-Nordic.

“In short we could say that the EOSC Nordic has adopted the use case that was also inspiring the work of the Nordic Commons,” says Francesca Iozzi, who was part of the technical working group in the work regarding the Nordic Commons and who is also leading work package 5 in the EOSC-Nordic.

Nordic Commons is a vision

Generally speaking, the Nordic Commons is a vision. It is a set of recommendations on how to build cloud infrastructure that allows sharing of medical data across borders in the Nordics.

It was a two-year programme requested by the Nordic Council of Ministers and coordinated by NordForsk to give a set of recommendations on how secondary use of medical data can happen in the Nordic region.

Approach has to be stepwise

“Building up a Nordic health cloud is something that requires movement of political forces and economic forces, so it is not something that will ever happen in one single step. We have to approach this in a stepwise manner, and with every step, the vision becomes more concrete and the momentum becomes higher,” says Francesca Iozzi.

The hope is that the EOSC-Nordic use case can work as a proof of concept and illustrate what kind of usage is envisioned and thereby help facilitate the next step towards a Nordic health cloud.

Trust and investments are needed

“In the course of the EOSC-Nordic we demonstrate part of the workflow, and this can build trust and motivate the decision makers and funding agencies in the Nordic countries to channel more effort and possibly funding to make this very high-level vision into a reality. Building trust among service providers, data controller and policy makers is important to set the foundation for a real eHealth Cloud,” she says.

The hope is that the EOSC-Nordic can contribute to build this trust.

Fact box
The Report from NordForsk can be found here.