Skip to main content

Comparative population health research: Comparisons of health status, determinants and service use across countries, and/or over time.

Data: Discrete observations of attributes or events that carry little meaning when considered alone

Data model: In a distributed research infrastructure, data models are a formal description of data sources (entities, their attributes and their relationships) and metadata specific to a scientific study, that are the basis for semantic interoperability, thus allowing reliable comparative research.

Data reuse: The most simple form of data reuse is using the same data in the same way more than once (i.e. starting with an original dataset, and drawing different research inferences). The data can also be repurposed and used for another intent (i.e. using data from health insurance registries for health monitoring, or for research).

Distributed research infrastructure: A decentralized and organised network of resources.

FAIR Data principles: The FAIR Data Principles are a set of guiding principles in order to make data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

Federated database: A federated database system is a type of meta-database management system (DBMS), which transparently maps multiple autonomous database systems into a single federated database. The constituent databases are interconnected via a computer network and may be geographically decentralized.

Health information: All organised and contextualised data on population health and health service activities and performance, individual or aggregated, that improves health promotion, prevention, care and policy-making.

Health information systems: “All activities and resources related to public health monitoring, reporting and knowledge translation, importantly including structured data collection systems and analysis of knowledge gaps to feed research. Operating a health information system requires governance mechanisms and legal frameworks, interinstitutional relationships, principles and values.”

Information: Data which is contextualised, i.e. reduced, summarized and adjusted for variations such as the age and sex of population so that comparison over time and place are possible.

Intelligence: the product of information being transformed through integration and processing with experience and perceptions based on social and political values.

Interoperability: Following the European Interoperability Framework, interoperability refers to a) a full compliance with the legal and ethical provisions in each constituent node; b) an organisation that supports knowledge exchange and software transference across nodes; c) a compatible technological environment that supports the communication between nodes and allows the deployment of the computational tasks; and d) the existence of common data models that enables semantic standardisation across data sources. In a distributed research infrastructure, interoperability is a key feature for its governance and achievements.

Knowledge translation: The appropriate exchange, synthesis and ethically sound application of knowledge to interventions that strengthen the healthcare system and improve health.

National Node: A National Node (NN) is an organisational entity, often linked to a national institution or governmental unit that functions as a national liaison and brings together relevant national stakeholders in the country in a systematic way. The relevant stakeholders may include, for example, the national statistical office, the national public health institutes, representatives from ministries of health, research and/or science, and others. In addition, the NN may function as a discussion and advisory forum in matters of health data and information both for national or international matters. Examples include aspects of the governance of data, indicators and health reporting at the international level and health information stakeholders at national level.

Population Health Data/Health information: All organised and contextualised data on health and health service activities and performance, at individual or population level, that is fit-for-use and contributes to  health promotion, prevention, care and policy-making.

Public health monitoring and reporting: The activities necessary to obtain health data and information and bring this information into health policy and practice.  

Research Network: A Research Network (RN) is an active network of national and/or regional experts from several countries that perform comparative research in a specific health area (information domain).

Use case: A software and system engineering term that describes how a user interacts within a system to accomplish a particular goal. A use case acts as a software modeling technique that defines the features to be implemented and the resolution of any errors that may be encountered.