"Big Data for Health & Care: The Arisal of Data Spaces"

April 23, 2024

Corda Campus, Hasselt

Symposium Linkedinposts Symposium Linkedinposts

The Research Group in Biomedical Data Sciences of UHasselt and The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data (i~HD) hosted the “Big Data in Health and Care: The Arisal of Data Spaces” Symposium on Tuesday 23 April 2024, in Corda Conference, Hasselt.

The term 'data space' has gained a lot of traction lately, specifically with the upcoming 'European Health Data Space' legislation.
The definition of data space is still under discussion. However, we and others (e.g. NCP Flanders) describe it as "a decentralized infrastructure for trustworthy data sharing and exchange in data ecosystems, based on commonly agreed principles."

In recent years, a series of health data spaces have arised. However, at the moment, the strategic oversight is lost and many questions remain. For example:

  • Which data space initiatives are out there?
  • How do they relate to each other?
  • How will they work together/in synergy to maximize the impact?
  • How will this affect the local data management at the level of the individual data partners?
Newsletterohdsi (90)

With this symposium, we aspired to facilitate an in-depth exploration of data spaces and research infrastructures, elucidate challenges and best practices for large-scale projects, and engage in a panel debate on the feasibility of implementing and integrating various data spaces at different levels, all underpinning the advancement of healthcare data sharing and research.

The symposium highlighted different Belgian data spaces and delved into profound discussions during panel debates, exploring complex topics like challenges and future perspectives in health data sharing and analysis. As i~HD co-moderated the event, the bridge towards Europe was guaranteed.

Multi-dimensional approach

In our sessions, we explore a wide array of dimensions, ranging from geographical nuances to various data types and the complexities of transmural care. We delve into the intricacies of first-line care, hospital settings, and innovative mobile healthcare (mHealth). Furthermore, our exploration extends to discovering the transformative potential inherent in different data types, encompassing everything from imaging to -omics and harmonized clinical data.



All speakers are asked to touch upon the following questions in preparation of their talk:

  • What are their “why” and expected clinical impact?
  • Which socio-technical challenges are they trying to address?
  • What are their main achievements so far?
  • What excites them for the future?





Meeting Start (Welcome)

Liesbet M. Peeters (UHasselt) & Dipak Kalra (i~HD)


Session 1: Borderless Insights - Unveiling Opportunities & Challenges in Scaling RWD across Limburg, Flanders, Belgium and Europe

Moderator: Liesbet M. Peeters

20 min

Keynote 1: Setting the scene – introducing the European Health Data Space and explaining the overall challenges of scaling-up health data and how they are currently handled at the European level

Dipak Kalra (i~HD)

10 min

Health Campus (province of Limburg)

Piet Stinissen (UHasselt)

10 min

Department of Care

Koenraad Jacob (Department of Care)

10 min

Belgian Health Data Agency (HDA) and Data Governance at Sciensano

Sofie De Broe (HDA and Sciensano)

20 min

Panel Debate session 1

All session 1 speakers


Coffee Break


Session 2 - Breaking Barriers: Navigating RWD Challenges from First-Line to Hybrid Digital Care in Transmural Integrated Settings

Moderator: Dipak Kalra

20 min

Keynote 2: Enhancing Hybrid Digital Healthcare: Principles of Quality Assurance in Digital Innovations

Christophe Maes (i~HD)

10 min

First line (General practitioners), Intego and Population Health Management

Bert Vaes (Intego)

10 min

Unlocking Belgium's health data reuse potential: the RWD4BE initiative

Ingrid Maes (Inovigate)

10 min

Remote monitoring (mHealth)

Hans De Clercq (Byteflies)

20 min

Panel Debate Session 2

All session 2 speakers


Lunch Break


Session 3 - Data Diversity Unveiled: Exploring -Omics, Clinical, and Brain-Related Data in Real-World Scenarios

Moderator: Liesbet M. Peeters

20 min

Keynote 3: Assuring Research Excellence: Strategies for Assessing Data Quality in European Projects

Jens Declerck (i~HD)

10 min

OHDSI Belgium

Annelies Verbiest (UZA)

10 min


Wim Vanduffel (KU Leuven)

10 min

ELIXIR Belgium

Frederik Coppens (VIB)

20 min

Panel Debate Session 3

All session 3 Speakers


Coffee Break


Session 4 - Synergizing Tomorrow: Unveiling Strategies to Maximise Collaboration and Progress

10 min

Arisal of Data Spaces: Why I am excited and worried?

Liesbet M. Peeters (UHasselt)

55 min

Panel Debate

Piet Stinissen (Health Campus Limburg), Sofie De Broe (Health Data Agency/Sciensano), Bert Vaes (Intego), Hans De Clercq (Byteflies) (BeMedTech), Annelies Verbiest (OHDSI Belgium), Frederik Coppens (ELIXIR Belgium)

Examples of questions that will be addressed

  • How can we ensure strategic oversight?
  • How can we maximise synergy?
  • How to co-create a joint strategy?
  • What’s next - aspirations for the future?

Moderators: Liesbet M. Peeters and Dipak Kalra

5 min

Closing remarks

Dipak Kalra & Liesbet M. Peeters


Networking reception

Meet our Speakers


This event is financially supported by: