There are many barriers to cross-cohort analyses and physically pooling data is constrained by governance, ethical and legal challenges. InterConnect is therefore taking a new approach. Rather than physically pooling data – i.e. ‘taking the data to the analysis’ – we are ‘taking the analysis to the data’.
Analytical instructions are sent remotely and the analysis is performed locally so all data stays at source and only results are shared. In this way, it is possible to perform an analysis that is equivalent to a meta-analysis of harmonised individual level data and so the approach is called ‘federated meta-analysis’. Because the data stays at source, it remains within the governance structure and control of the originating study. Read more about federated meta-analysis and the privacy and security of the approach.
Federated meta-analysis provides a secure, scalable and sustainable approach to cross-cohort analyses through what could be called a ‘data access and results sharing’ network.