eLab | CREW

Research Project

The eLab is a platform for merging data together which has been collected by different groups at different times. The system puts the data into a consistent and clear format.

We believe that harmonised, semantically identical data, is the key to extending and therefore maximising the utility of research data collection. In doing so we increase the lifespan, context and power of expended effort.

eLab is using an acknowledged key interoperability structure to store the data, HL7’s standard; FIHR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources).

Data usage

The data principally concerns allergy sufferers in the United States of America, but while we are assisting the annotation of this data (capturing it’s semantic meaning) we are not coming into direct contact with it.

Methods used

Specifically in our work with the CREW project; we are delivering an instance of the eLab to the US team with the aim of supporting the CREW data team to harmonise data across eight cohorts of participants largely from geographically and possibly temporally distinct samples.

Who will benefit from this?

We are attempting to affect a change in the practice and lifespan of research collected health data, so any present or future researcher in health data.


Data harmonisation is a hugely complex challenge. One that we specifically have experience of attempting but until recently have not supported at scale. The project represents a coming together of the UK sides culmination of several years’ work on harmonisation systems and the US providing a live, real challenge that for which systematic harmonisation of data is a solution.

If demonstrated successfully this could lead to a significant change to our discipline’s thinking on the status of episodic study data; changing from a disposable unit, to one of long term significance for future investigation.