The University of Tartu has been selected by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as one of the data partners of the DARWIN EU® network. This is a first step towards the common use of health data in Europe to support public health, medicines regulation and safety based on evidence from data collected in the routine provision of healthcare.
"Health information on the use of medicines from different countries is urgently needed to support and improve public health, and in addition cross-country analysis has so far been hampered by data compatibility issues. Our researchers are working every day to solve these problems, and this is certainly one of the reasons why we were included in the network," said Raivo Kolde, Associate Professor of Health Informatics at the Institute of Computer Science. According to him, joining the DARWIN EU® data network is both a great recognition of the work that has been done and a good opportunity for Estonia to cooperate internationally in the field of health. As a result of the accession, Estonia's health data will be integrated into a wider network of real world data and evidence-based conclusions on the use, safety and efficacy of medicines will influence patient care across Europe.
The inclusion in the DARWIN EU® network has also been facilitated by the Estonian Biobank's unique database, which brings together genetic and health data from over 200 000 Estonians. "Thanks to the biobank, it will be possible to discover and validate new drug candidates, assess the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of medicines already on the market, and create drug guidelines that take into account genetic specificities," said Professor Tõnu Esko, Head of Estonian Biobank Innovation Centre at the University of Tartu.
Photo: Raivo Kolde (on the right) discussing the results of a recent study with Research Fellow Sulev Reisberg