HDRN Canada Announces New Partnership with CanPath to Enable Data Linkage

Mother and son at doctor

HDRN Canada Logo        CanPath

Today, Health Data Research Network Canada (HDRN Canada) and the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (CanPath) announced a new partnership that will enable linkage between CanPath cohort data and health data held at provincial and territorial data centres.

By enabling researchers to connect data such as self-reported behaviours, physical measurements and biological samples from CanPath with use of health services and health outcomes captured by provincial health databases, we can gain deeper insights and develop solutions to pressing health challenges, including chronic illnesses, mental health, aging populations, and more.

  • HDRN Canada’s Data Access Support Hub (DASH) is a one-stop service where researchers can receive support for study design and development, and submit a single intake form to request access to data from multiple provinces or territories. Through this new partnership, researchers will now be able to submit requests for multi-jurisdictional research projects using CanPath data through DASH.
  • CanPath is Canada’s largest population cohort study that allows researchers to explore how genetics, environment, lifestyle and behaviour interact and contribute to the development of cancer and other chronic diseases. Over 330,000 participants from six regional cohorts across Canada have provided detailed baseline and follow-up health and lifestyle data, as well as physical measures, mental health measures, biological samples such as blood and urine, and broad consent for health research that includes the potential to be re-contacted over decades and linkage to administrative health data holdings.

Interested researchers are invited to explore the data holdings available for request on DASH. HDRN Canada and CanPath can support research teams interested in leveraging linked data, including COVID-19 related data from CanPath’s COVID-19 Questionnaire and provincial data centres where available, for Fall 2020 CIHR Project Grant proposals and research projects. We can also support funding applications by providing Letters of Support.

“HDRN Canada is committed to enabling more multi-jurisdictional research in Canada and expanding the data that are available for that research,” says Dr. Kim McGrail, Scientific Director of HDRN Canada. “Our partnership with CanPath is an example of this, and will open many new research opportunities that will help our understanding of equity and population health.”

By simplifying access to linkable multi-jurisdictional data, HDRN Canada and CanPath will strengthen health research, which ultimately leads to better decision-making for health care and social service provision.

“Facilitating easier access to linked CanPath data from multiple provincial health data systems broadens the scope of research opportunities, while delivering an innovative solution to long-standing challenges for health research in Canada. This exciting partnership will enhance national health research and ultimately improve the health of Canadians,” says Dr. John McLaughlin, Executive Director of CanPath.