Big Data & Health and Data2Person Unite

31 October 2019

Uniting and learning from one another for a shared future. That was the goal of the first Big Data & Health and Data2Person meeting, which was held on 2 October 2019. During this interactive day, the people involved in all 14 projects focused on exploring their collective plans for the future.

Linking two programmes together

Prof. Jan de Boer, Dr Astrid Zuurbier and Dr Inge Valstar got the proceedings off to a flying start with their presentations on the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the meeting and its programme. They explained why the Big Data & Health and Data2Person programmes have been linked together. Both programmes facilitate big data research into prevention and health improvement. Dr Lars Ridder gave a presentation in which he explained big data issues in greater detail.


Pitches, posters and working groups

Members of each of the 14 projects gave short pitches, as a way of introducing themselves to one another. The poster sessions presented an opportunity for networking and in-depth discussions. One of the day’s main goals was to specify the themes – and substance – to be tackled by future working groups. The purpose of these working groups is to deliver reusable scientific and technological solutions to mutual challenges. Earlier in the day, those attending the meeting had submitted suggestions for potential themes. These ideas varied from ‘feedback to patients’ to ‘distributed learning’. During a brainstorming session, small groups of people energetically discussed and conferred in an effort to give substance to the various themes.


Trust and development

Ron Roozendaal, Director of Information Policy and CIO at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, wound up the proceedings. He emphasized the opportunities and risks involved in getting algorithms to do work that has traditionally been performed by people. Trust is not without limits, so science needs to include society in technological developments.

The meeting was staged and hosted by the grant-awarding bodies – the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW), the Netherlands eScience Center, the Dutch Heart Foundation, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Harteraad patient association, HealthHolland and Commit2Data. You can find further details about the 14 projects here.

Source: NWO