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The All-Island Data Bridge: Accelerating Cancer Research Opportunities through Collaborative Data Infrastructure In association with Digital Leaders

09 Jan 2024 by Denis 3 minute read

On the 7th of December Anaeko in association with Digital Leaders, hosted a roundtable. The goal of the event was to bring together key stakeholders to explore the potential for delivering all-island cancer data infrastructure, aligning with the All-Island eHealth Hub for Cancer, a €4M Hub of Excellence funded through the Higher Education Authority’s North South Research Programme. The primary focus of the event was to define the core data infrastructure and identify partners willing to help pump-prime this initiative.

The Power of Integrated Data: A Game-Changer in Cancer Control

At the heart of this initiative lies the recognition that data is core to unlocking pivotal insights in cancer control. The amalgamation of clinical, radiology, pathology, genetic, and molecular data is key the initiative, Dr. McDade, Professor Lawler, and Dr. Quinn champion the integration of these diverse datasets will lead to insights that will lead to more effective treatments and interventions for many different cancers.

Empowering a Citizen-Centred Data Ecosystem

Central to the vision is a data ecosystem that puts citizens at its core. This culture of data-sharing is not only about aggregating information but also about empowering individuals in their healthcare journey. This would lead to a reciprocal relationship wherein citizens contribute their data and, in return, receive personalised insights while contributing to improved healthcare strategies.

Driving the Big Data for Better Health Agenda

The potential of big data in healthcare is immense. By harnessing vast and varied datasets—clinical, omics, and imaging—researchers can glean new insights predict disease trajectories, and develop tailored treatments. Dr. McDade, Professor Lawler, and Dr. Quinn envision Ireland at the forefront of the big data revolution in healthcare, using these insights not only for cancer but also as a catalyst for innovation across various diseases.

Creating Cancer Data Trusted-Research Environments: A Unique Opportunity

The urgency to establish Trusted-Research Environments for cancer data on the Island of Ireland cannot be overstated. This initiative presents a unique opportunity to bring together stakeholders, policymakers, and institutions to lay the groundwork for Proof-of-Concept projects. Driven by these visionaries, the goal is to galvanize support and collaboration to demonstrate the tangible benefits of an integrated data infrastructure through key use-cases.


The vision set forth by the roundtable could lead to a paradigm shift in cancer research and healthcare on Island of Ireland. By championing integrated data infrastructure, fostering a citizen-centred data-sharing culture, and driving a big data agenda, they pave the way for a future where data isn’t just information—it's the catalyst for innovation, better health outcomes, and improved lives.

There was huge support of the concept from all participants at the roundtable. A number of Use Cases were identified and follow-on event are planned in the New year to progress the initiative.



Topics: Data Analytics, Open Data, Big Data, Healthcare, Data classification, Data Optimisation, data sharing, Research, Cancer Research

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