Transformational Data Collaboration

MACH leads the national Transformational Data Collaboration on behalf of AHRA to directly address  the ‘integration of large data sets across the care continuum’ priority area.

What is the goal of the collaboration?

Australia has fragmented data holdings across all clinical domains, extending to terminologies, data models, and the quality assurance mechanisms employed. This collaboration will uplift the use of clinical data for research across Australia and engage national partners to support a consistent strategy in advancing Health Data Science.

What will the impact be?

This collaboration shall provide unique tools and resources to advance data use and re-use for research nationally, in-line with FAIR principles. Accelerating data integration will stimulate collaborative research and strengthen our ability to improve the health of Australians.

How will this be achieved?

The unique open and collaborative nature of AHRA will be harnessed to develop and progress this national data initiative in an inclusive and non-competitive environment.


Three foundational workstreams sit within the collaboration:


1. Data quality assessment

Lead: Dr Daniel Capurro, University of Melbourne

The quality and applicability of routinely-collected health data for research has long been an issue. This project will develop practical mechanisms to enable standards-based assessment of data quality by researchers, facilitating informed use of appropriate datasets relevant to project requirements.

2. Terminologies and terminology mappings for research

Lead: David Bunker, Queensland Genomics and Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners

Provision of an openly available CSIRO supported Ontoserver to work towards convergence in medical terminology mappings, and exploration of how to maximise the use and acceptance of the ADHA Clinical Terminology Service as a key national resource for research.


3. Use of common data models

Lead: A/Prof Nicole Pratt, University of South Australia


Common data models and data standardisation are tools that permit collaborative research, large-scale data analytics and the sharing of tools, services and methodologies. Resources will be developed for researchers to support the uplift of data to the OHDSI OMOP Common Data Model, and a community of practice and education in the use of common data models established.


How far have we gotten?

The inaugural planning meeting of the collaboration was held in late October 2019 with a fantastic turnout of technical experts from organisations across the country. Productive discussions throughout the day led to defining of the initial workstream activities and nomination of workstream leads, and raised many points for the collaboration to consider as it progresses. The workstream leads are now working to refine and establish their projects, while MACH and the Collaboration Lead continue to build relationships with existing and potential stakeholders.

The first OHDSI-Australia International Webinar was held on Monday 20th April. Click here for the presentation and recording of ‘Federated networks: The role of the IMI2 European Health Data & Evidence Network (EHDEN) project, OHDSI pre and now in a pandemic’ .


The next OHDSI-Australia 'The Transformational Data Collaboration (TDC): Supporting the uplift of clinical data sets for research in Australia: Data Quality Assessment tools, Terminology Mappings and adoption of a Common Data Model' with  speakers A/Prof Douglas Boyle and A/Prof Nicole Pratt will be held on Monday 22nd June, 5pm. Please contact Roger Ward at for Zoom details 


Who is involved?

The collaboration is led by A/Prof Dougie Boyle, University of Melbourne, on behalf of MACH. This work is in the early stages with ongoing conversations with national agencies including Department of Health, Australian Digital Health Agency, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, CSIRO, Australian Research Data Commons, Digital Health CRC, and NPS Medicine Insight, and all of the Australian Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres and Centres for Innovation in Regional Health. This is an open, inclusive collaboration and we will be involving additional stakeholders as the work progresses.

How is the collaboration structured?

A sub-committee consisting of a Chair (A/Prof Dougie Boyle), MACH Project Officer, Project Manager, and Lead of each workstream reports to the AHRA Data Driven Healthcare Improvement (DDHCI) Committee. An Advisory Committee and the AHRA DDHCI Committee will advise the sub-committee as required. 


Details can be found in the Terms of Reference and governance structure diagram.

See the December 2020 Report: 

AHRA Primary Care Data and Linkage - Australian dataset identification & capacity building

Prim Care Data Linkage Image.png

For further information contact:

Dougie Boyle (Collaboration Lead) - 

Nuzha Wazeer (MACH Project Officer) - 

Roger Ward (Project Manager) -


MACH is an NHMRC recognised Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.

The mission of MACH is to improve health and wellbeing by integrating medical research, education and clinical care.


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