ARDC Vocabulary Service Extension (Health and Medical)

Expanding ARDC Research Vocabularies Australia (RVA) to health and medical research to provide tools to promote standard health terminologies and facilitate data interoperability and integration
A group of medical professional having a conversation
Who will benefit
Researchers and health service partners

The Challenge

Central to the ARDC Thematic Research Data Commons initiative is the aggregation of data assets, tools, services and software to optimise research environments for the greatest number of Australian researchers in earth and environmental sciences, HASS and Indigenous studies, and health and medical research. Realising this vision depends on infrastructure that is aligned with the information standards underpinning today’s global data economy.

In the case of health and medical research, however, the national vocabulary service infrastructure has yet to meet all the community’s needs.

The Response

To address this gap, the ARDC is extending the Research Vocabulary Australia (RVA) service to boost support for health and medical research. Working with the University of Melbourne and CSIRO, we are consulting with stakeholders and learning from existing ARDC health research data sharing initiatives, especially the Health Studies Australia National Data Asset (HeSANDA) program.

The extension will meet the gap in the data market by enabling the curation, publication and reuse of critical information resources for data interoperability. These resources include:

  • health data maps
  • health terminology maps
  • health terminologies.

The maps are important as they express relationships among health data models and among health terminologies. They are created by researchers across public, private and research sectors to facilitate data exchange, integration and interoperability. However, producing these maps is time-consuming and expensive, and maps are currently not discoverable for reuse. The main goal of this project is to establish a community-endorsed source of truth for these maps to free researchers from duplicate efforts, cut costs and accelerate research.

Target Outcomes

This project will deliver an extension to the ARDC RVA service for researchers and research software developers to access as part of the national research infrastructure. It will include: 

  • a portal for publishing and accessing terminologies and maps
  • a tool for creating terminology maps, supporting important health resources such as SNOMED.

Who Will Benefit

This project will benefit researchers and health service partners by: 

  • freeing them from recreating expensive data resources and increasing research efficiency
  • creating opportunities for collaboration by freeing data resources from silos and making them visible and shareable
  • maximising value derived from grant funding.

The Partners

  • The University of Melbourne 

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