InterConnect seeks to optimise the use of existing data to enable new research into the causes of diabetes and obesity.
The variation in the risk of diabetes and obesity between different countries and continents around the world is considerably greater than the variation in risk within individual countries. This population level heterogeneity in diet, physical activity and disease outcomes is largely unexplained because physically bringing data together from cohort studies across the world is constrained by governance, ethical and legal challenges.
To address this, InterConnect is taking a new approach to enabling cross-cohort analyses. Rather than physically bringing the data together for analysis, it is ‘taking the analysis to the data’.
InterConnect was initially funded by the European Union FP7 programme. It used exemplar research projects to understand and address the real-life issues that affect implementation and use of the federated meta-analysis approach.
Research using the InterConnect approach continues and a number of projects are on-going or planned.