RAMIT vzw, a non-profit association, is a research platform established by Prof. Dr. Georges De Moor in 1992, with the support of the Ghent University. RAMIT’s main mission is performing and supporting International and National R&D in Medical Informatics and Telematics, nowadays also called eHealth.
From 1992 until 1998, RAMIT was supporting CEN TC/215 (European Committee for Standardization, Technical Committee eHealth) with Prof. Dr. G. De Moor as founding chairman and funded by the E.C. (DG Enterprise and Industry). RAMIT has participated successfully, often in a co-ordinating capacity, in more than 80 R&D projects in both the framework of EU-Research Programmes (since the second EC Framework Programme, AIM) and national R&D Programmes (e.g. IBBT). RAMIT’s R&D activities resulted in the creation of spin-offs, scientific associations and a world-wide network.
RAMIT’s R&D projects are focusing on
- Ontology, Natural Language Processing, Semantic Interoperability;
- Electronic Health Records (EHR), Patient Health Records (PHR);
- Quality Labeling and Certification of EHR (PHR) systems;
- eLearning, eTesting & Computer Assisted Instruction;
- Web-based Association Studies and Clinical Trials;
- eHomeCare, Patient Tele-monitoring and Tele-medicine;
- Data Protection, Privacy, Security, Authentication;
- De-Identification, Pseudonymisation;
- EHR for Clinical Research, secondary use of EHR;
- Innovative business model for eHealth applications;
- eHealth Standards, Archetypes;
- Medical Statistics, Decision Support Systems;
- Web applications.
In December 2011, RAMIT, as coordinator, signed a Grant Agreement (FP7-ICT-2011-7-288408) for a Network of Excellence (NoE), named “Semantic Interoperability for Health Network”. It is a 48-months project with a budget of 3.222.380 euro of which 2.945.364 euro is funded by the E.C.
SemanticHealthNet will develop a scalable and sustainable pan-European organisational and governance process for the semantic interoperability of clinical and biomedical knowledge, to help ensure that EHR systems are optimised for patient care, public health and clinical research across healthcare systems and institutions (www.semantichealthnet.eu).
Within the EHR4CR (Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research) project RAMIT, as subcontractor of the Managing Entity (EuroRec), also plays a supporting role (financial and administrative reporting, online collaboration space, PR materials). The EHR4CR project aims to design and demonstrate a scalable and cost-effective approach to interoperability between Electronic Health Record systems (EHRs) and Clinical Research through multiple but unified initiatives across different therapeutic areas, with varying local and national stakeholders and across several countries under various legal frameworks. This unified approach will be made possible by both an EHR4CR business model and an EHR4CR platform. Working closely with the EFPIA partners, the consortium will confirm priority clinical trials scenarios, such as patient recruitment, to be addressed and the requirements for these scenarios. The present gap between EHR systems and clinical research systems to deliver these scenarios will be analysed, which will direct the business model and the platform design.EHR4CR, funded by the E.C. IMI Programme and EFPIA, runs over 4 years (2011-2014) with a budget of +16 million € and involves 33 partners (academic and industrial) (www.ehr4cr.eu).
In order to improve a European-wide online collaboration amongst researchers, RAMIT has implemented a number of tools and platforms. For the above mentioned EU-projects, MS SharePoint technology has been introduced. Currently, an account has been assigned to more than 190 researchers and experts. Researchers involved in both projects only need one account to access both platforms. Furthermore, specific private online web-based tools have been developed to support research tasks.