OHDSI symposium 2016: a report

September 29, 2016 | By Irina Pulyakhina

The second annual OHDSI symposium took place in Washington, USA, on September 23-24 2016, and DTL partner The Hyve was there. Maxim Moinat and Kees van Bochove of The Hyve went to the symposium to learn about the news and most recent events happening in the community, to network, but also to present a poster from The Hyve. Maxim Moinat presented his poster ‘Automatic mapping of drug concepts to the RxNorm vocabulary’, which raised high interest and was mentioned in the official EMIF news.


This conference turned out to be an amazing experience, bringing together a lot of people from various disciplines — researchers, pharma companies, representatives from FDA and vendors like The Hyve. We were impressed by how energetic the OHDSI community is — there was lots of enthusiasm, feedback from the audience and interaction after the talks, a lot of people showing interest in our poster and asking questions, and, pleasantly, quite some interest in The Hyve and the services we provide.

OHDSI is an international and interdisciplinary collaboration supporting OHDSI tool suite which works on retrieving value from observational health data through large-scale analytics. Current observational research is often limited due to insufficient data available in terms of number of patients, number of years and the extent and quality of the data. One of the main objectives of the OHDSI community is to introduce a standard to the field of computational epidemiology that is open, consistent, reproducible and scalable.


During the symposium, multiple people also referred to several weeks of rapid development in the OHDSI community leading up to the meeting, as people were keen on demonstrating new features and implementations. It was also mentioned that, based on previous year’s experience, the development goes extremely fast and well in the weeks after the symposium, so we have to see if people indeed got the additional enthusiasm and drive to work on OHDSI after the symposium.

All in all, it was a pleasant yet very useful conference, and we’ll make sure we go to the OHDSI symposium next year as well — probably with an even larger team, as it was hard to keep up with all the interest and questions!

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