Mobilising Engineering competences from KTH and strategic partners to the Health care system in Stockholm region - focus Data Science for Health data.

Johan Blaus

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Joakim Jaldén

Mikael Östling

Region Stockholm is responsible for the health care sector in the greater Stockholm municipality and is in the middle of tackling the covid-19 pandemic.
Region Stockholm has a wealth of digital Health data that could be utilized to build new knowledge. Before the pandemic, KTH and Region Stockholm started a dialogue to develop the recently inaugurated Centre for Health Data that will focus on maintaining a secure and coordinated process for the release of health data to researchers. This use of this data should lead to an improvement in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
There is a need to develop competences and resources in the Centre for Health Data regarding High Performance Computing, AI, Machine Learning, Data- and Cybersecurity, and it is of mutual interest for Region Stockholm and KTH to find the way forward for collaboration. Region Stockholm is one of KTH:s 13 strategic partnerships ( ) with industry, public sector and research institutes. When the situation with covid-19 became critical the idea came up to mobilize KTH and the strategic partners to support Region Stockholm with engineering competences to make forecasts about care needs. There was an overwhelmingly positive response from the strategic partners, encouraged from the very top level of the global companies. The dialogue intensified in order to organize the collaboration to immediately utilize available resources and at the same time build a long-term robust platform for competences and knowledge. The core team from KTH has been the deputy president of the university, a senior faculty member with domain knowledge, and the director for strategic partnerships. This secures internal engagement as well as direct external communication with partners for the initiative from the management, faculty and the professional support organization. The process has resulted in an ongoing recruitment of a data engineer to the Centre for Health Data. This recruitment of a person employed by the Center of Healt Data is necessary in order to manage security aspects of highly sensitive health data before it is made available for research in an anonymized and aggregated form.
Work is also underway to establish a group with expertise in areas such as data analysis, data integrity, and health data law. This group should provide open aggregated data suitable for independent analysis and provide an interface between healthcare experts and research groups with domain-specific expertise. All in all, we see a great potential in how these joint efforts can develop how industry, academia, Region Stockholm, and, ultimately, Sweden work together in both the acute crisis and in the future to create new knowledge and better measures.