GMS will receive funding from Swelife, a strategic innovation programme funded by the Swedish Government, for a two-year period in order to ensure that healthcare data is put to the best possible use for patients within precision medicine. The funding will be used to develop standards for data sharing, to review the current legal framework for data sharing, and to develop powerful tools for data analysis and visualization.

– We at Swelife are delighted at the possibility of strengthening GMS. This is a strategically important investment in precision medicine and precision health in Sweden. The funded project will tie together several different efforts and enable actors in Sweden to join forces regarding data handling in precision medicine” says Peter Nordström, Program Director at Swelife.

A key requirement for precision medicine is the possibility to share, store and combine health data, such as genomic data. In the project, that is funded with 1 million euros from Swelife and a similar amount from the 14 GMS partners, national standards will be developed for sharing and linking genomic data to other forms of health data, such as journal data, biobank data and quality registers, within the Swedish healthcare system.

An effective utilization of the considerable amount of data generated by precision medicine requires both the ability to conduct advanced analysis as well as the ability to visualize genomic and other forms of healthcare data. In the project, tools that present data in a format easy to understand will be customized to enable their implementation in healthcare. analysis as well as the ability to visualize genomic and other forms of health data. The project will therefore test tools for different disease areas as well as tools for health-economic analysis. These tools will also be central for sharing aggregated data with universities, industry, public authorities and other international initiatives.

– We are very grateful for the support from Swelife which means that we can now broaden the work with the National Genomics platform and also lay the foundation for a new national standard for storing genomic data in Sweden, says Per Sikora, Head of Facility at Clinical Genomics Gothenburg, SciLifeLab and co-chair of the informatics work package in GMS.

Today the legislative framework for sharing health data between Swedish county councils, as well as between healthcare, academia and industry, is in need of clarification. With support from Swelife, a review of existing legislation can now be conducted and potential legislative amendments can be identified that could facilitate collaboration on a national and international level, while also strengthening medical research in Sweden.

– We will employ several people within the project, including a lawyer that can help us with the complex questions that exist around sharing health data, says Valtteri Wirta, Facility director at Clinical Genomics Stockholm, SciLifeLab and co-chair of the informatics work package in GMS.

Read more in news from Swelife (in Swedish)