Toolbox Strategic Focus Area 2

Develop a standardised MS data dictionary and support local harmonisation efforts

Each database is situated in a different organizational setting and uses different terminologies or parameter denotations for describing their content. MSDA aims to maximize reusability of MS registries/cohort data by harmonizing structure and variables by developing and promoting the adoption of a common data model (CDM).

CDM can be defined as a mechanism by which raw data are standardised to a common structure, format and terminology independent from any particular study in order to allow combined analysis across several MS cohorts. A CDM aims to achieve both syntactic as well as semantic interoperability. Syntactic interoperability represents a common agreed upon data structure (‘grammar’), whereas semantic interoperability represents the common understanding of the syntactic interoperable data structure (‘vocabulary’). The MSDA TransForMS SwitchBox (in short: SwitchBox) is a tool to harmonize different data formats to a MS specific CDM.

MSDA has chosen to build the SwitchBox on top of the “OMOP” CDM. The OMOP CDM originates from the Observational Medical Outcome Partnership (OMOP), and is now implemented and updated by the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) community.

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