Population Data BC (PopData) is partnering with the BC Ministry of Health (MoH), the BC Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN), the BC Ministry of Citizens' Services, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), and others to support research related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PopData is also part of Health Data Research Network Canada, which is supporting multi-jurisdictional research.
All information provided here is expected to evolve and will be updated as that happens.
BC Ministry of Health
The newly-launched Health Data Platform (HDP) will support public health and scientific research on COVID-19 through an expedited data access process. COVID-19 data requests funded by Genome, MSFHR and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) will follow an expedited approval process. Requests funded by other bodies will be reviewed by The COVID-19 Strategic Research Advisory Committee (SRAC).
PopData will be handling the data access request (DAR) process for academic researchers. If you have a COVID-19 related research project, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data sets available
|COVID test lab data||Individuals tested and their result, starting Jan 2020|
|All ICU admissions||Starting Jan 2020|
|COVID acute admissions||Starting Jan 2020|
|Mortality data - Vital Statistics||Back to 2008, including current year|
|Fee for Service (MSP) data||All available years, including current year|
|Chronic Disease Registry||Latest version|
|Discharge Abstract Database (DAD)||All available years, including current year|
|National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS)||All available years, including current year|
|Health System Matrix||Latest version|
|PharmaNet||All available years, including current year|
|Client Roster||Latest version|
|811||All available years|
This work is being developed and led by the Ministry of Health with matched funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) through their national Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), the BC SUPPORT Unit (an operating unit of BC AHSN that implements SPOR in BC), and the Province of BC. More information on the HDP may be found in the documents below.
The Data Innovation Program
PopData and the BC Ministry of Health are working with the Province’s Data Innovation Program (DI Program) to pilot academic access to the program for priority projects that support B.C.’s COVID-19 response and require data from other provincial ministries. This access is being piloted ahead of schedule (originally planned for fall 2020) to support COVID-19 response; academic access to data for other projects, unrelated to COVID-19, is still under discussion.
Will the data access process change?
All requests will still continue to require both peer review and ethical review. Research Ethics BC (part of the BC AHSN) just announced a rapid review process for COVID-19 provincial clinical research projects.
Projects that are funded through the MSFHR rapid-response program will be expedited. More details on other requests will be provided as they are available.
How is PopData working with MSFHR specifically?
Projects submitted to MSFHR COVID-19 Research Response fund do not need to include a budget for data access through PopData. Projects must outline data requirements, and will need to complete a Data Access Request to PopData, but funding for this is being addressed directly through the PopData-MSFHR partnership.
Results of Researcher survey identified high priority data sets
A survey of researchers identified high-priority data sets, all of which will be available for approved COVID-19-related projects. This includes:
- COVID-19 testing data, individual-level for both those positive and negative
- Fee-for-service physician payments (MSP)
- Hospital separations (Discharge Abstract Database, or DAD)
- Emergency Department visits (NACRS)
- Prescription pharmaceuticals (PharmaNet)
- Deaths (Vital Statistics)