Learning platform in health research and social services
Clinicians and researchers have great difficulty in quickly and efficiently accessing quality health data, even when they hold the required permission.
This includes data from clinics, hospitals, biobanks, clinical studies, public health, social services, provincial institutes and organizations, wearable technologies (e.g., smart watches), and so on.
It is not feasible to centralize all health data—for social, ethical and legal reasons. Therefore a solution is required that leaves the data where it is while still allowing information for health care and research to be retrieved.
Dr. Jean-François Ethier, Scientific co-director of the GRIIS, explains how learning health systems respond to the current challenges facing health care and research.
The PARS3 learning platform is designed to support clinicians and researchers who conduct projects that require authorizations to access data stored in multiple, distributed systems. PARS3 is an integral technological component of a learning health system.
No matter where the data is and no matter how it is managed locally, PARS3 makes it possible to link the clinicians’ and researchers’ queries with the information systems which are specific to each data custodian.
“PARS3 allows data that is distributed across separate computer systems to be processed and networked in a consistent and understandable manner.”
—Jean-François Ethier, Scientific Co-Director of the GRIIS
The GRIIS collaborates with the research community and with partner organizations at the international level to ensure PARS3 procedures meet the expectations of the world-wide community.
PARS3 is an ecosystem that powers scientific research, knowledge transfer and delivery of health care in learning health systems.
The PARS3 platform is built on information ontologies (which are similar to lexicons). To make a data request, users use concepts from the ontology that are coherent and understandable from a clinical point of view.
PARS3 then extracts the precisely specified data from the distributed data sources, mediated by other components of the platform. The platform matches extracted data and original query fields using these validated ontological models.
The original source data stays where it is stored — the platform does not generate nor manage data warehouses.
PARS3 responds to health data queries by providing only the minimum data requested as part of a project.
The data is encrypted locally, where it is held temporarily.
The platform itself does not store data and does not interpret content.
The extracted data is subsequently transmitted directly and securely to another secure third party where the requesting user will have access to the data for analysis.
The Quebec Support Unit of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research is made possible under the Canadian Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and supported by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec and the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Santé (FRQS).