iCAREdata project

The main aim of the iCAREdata-project (Improving Care And Research Electronic Data Trust Antwerp) is to develop a central, clinical research database in out-of-hours (OOH) care in Belgium.

This is an opportunity to optimize the OOH care by linking data of primary care services in an interdisciplinary setting in the region of Antwerp. With this project, the research team of CHA-ELIZA is developing a state-of-the-art database, in sync with the most recent legal, ethical and privacy aspects present in Belgium and Europe.

One crucial aspect of the project is the unique way it links data between different health care services. Subsequently, we are able to study the chain of care that patients follow in OOH care. This gives a broader view on what is exactly happening with patients suffering an unplanned medical problem.

Researchers can consult the database after applying for access. Due to privacy rules, iCAREdata is only allowed to provide aggregated data. Researchers can find application conditions and procedures on procedure for researchers.

The Antwerp Project

iCAREdata is a project focussing on the large region of the city of Antwerp (520.000 inhabitants).

During this project (which will last 5 years), all four General Practitioner Cooperatives of Antwerp will join the project, as well as eight of the Emergency Departments of the City Hospitals, and most the Antwerp Pharmacies. This cooperation enables us to carefully check the feasibility of the project in a rather confined region, including linking the different databases, which makes this project unique. We have chosen to work in several stages of data gathering in close cooperation with our partners and software vendors.

At this stage, we receive requests from other regions in Flanders highly interested in the project, and who prefer to have their data stored in iCAREdata. Currently this is possible, and several Flemish GPCs from outside the region of Antwerp joined the project.

Our aim is to include as many partners as possible in OOH care in Flanders. This way the database becomes more valid for scientific research and gives useful feedback to the partners involved, enabling them to improve registration and patient care. For us, this shows the impact of iCAREdata in the field.