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ICES launches Data and Analytic Services (ICES DAS)

November 3, 2014 Toronto

ICES is excited to announce the launch of its Data and Analytic Services (ICES DAS) which will provide Canadian researchers with secure access to de-identified, research-ready, linked health administrative data and analytic tools through a secure virtual desktop.

ICES DAS will transform access to Ontario’s health administrative data and increase research capacity across Ontario, and Canada. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI) have partnered to fund the OSSU as part of Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR).

“ICES currently holds the largest single compilation of linked administrative health and social services records in Canada. The ICES DAS initiative, part of the larger Ontario SPOR initiative, will help establish Ontario as an international leader in  large scale observational and intervention studies designed to improve health policy and strengthen the health system, which will ultimately make Canadians healthier,” said Dr. Michael Schull, President and CEO of ICES.

ICES DAS will:

  • Allow first-ever access to ICES data for Canadian researchers, which will support evidence-based health and health care.
  • Allow an increased number of researchers, students, clinician scientists and policy makers to study, understand and improve the health system.
  • Leverage ICES’ 22 years of experience in working with linked data.

“ICES DAS marks an important step for our health care system. This innovative initiative will provide the foundation necessary to increase access to data by researchers who can use it to impact policy and programs right across the Ontario health sector. ICES DAS will mean all types of research and planning and program decisions will be made with better evidence as its underpinning. This new initiative illustrates a paradigm shift in how we conduct research in this province and will include patients at all stages of the process,” said Vasanthi Srinivasan, Executive Director, OSSU Coordinating Centre.

As part of OSSU, ICES DAS will provide infrastructure and analytic services that improve health outcomes for patients and enable policymakers and health care practitioners to make better use of data and evidence.

For more information on ICES DAS visit http://www.ices.on.ca/Data-Services

ICES is an independent, non-profit organization that uses population-based health information to produce knowledge on a broad range of health care issues. Our unbiased evidence provides measures of health system performance, a clearer understanding of the shifting health care needs of Ontarians, and a stimulus for discussion of practical solutions to optimize scarce resources. ICES knowledge is highly regarded in Canada and abroad, and is widely used by government, hospitals, planners, and practitioners to make decisions about care delivery and to develop policy.

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Quick Facts

  • Since 1992, ICES has been a not-for-profit research institute encompassing a community of research, data and clinical experts, and a secure and accessible array of Ontario's health-related data.
  • Prior to the launch of ICES DAS, 175 ICES scientists, at one central location and five satellites were able to access a vast and secure array of Ontario’s health-related data, including population-based health surveys, anonymous patient records, as well as clinical and administrative databases.
  • With the launch of ICES DAS, researchers and students across the province and country can now access a subset of the data from their desktops.
  • ICES DAS provides access to de-identified research-ready linked data sets that are less detailed than the data that are accessed at ICES centres.
  • Researchers with Research Ethics Board approved studies can access ICES DAS research-ready data from their own office computers through a secure virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) over the internet.
  • This will transform access and increase the positive impact of this important public resources.
  • For more information, and to find out about the process to request access, see ICES DAS FAQs.

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