The SPHN Consortium on Maelstrom

Switzerland has a long tradition of high-quality cohort studies collecting a large variety of health-related data. These cost-intensive data collections exist mainly as separate entities with little visibility to external researchers. The implementation of the SPHN Cohort Consortium on Maelstrom brings Swiss population-based and disease specific cohorts to an internationally renowned metadata catalogue to increase their findability and usability. The Maelstrom catalogue is already serving the metadata dissemination of more than 430 individual studies hosted within several networks from across the world.

By accessing the SPHN Cohort Consortium Network on the catalogue, it is already possible to browse 11 Swiss cohorts and over 100'000 annotated variables: 

  • Cohorte Lausannoise and its psychiatric arm (CoLaus|PsyCoLaus)
  • Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) 
  • Swiss Kidney Project on Genes in Hypertension (SKIPOGH) 
  • Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution, Lung & Heart Diseases (SAPALDIA) 
  • Swiss Transplant Cohort Study (STCS) 
  • Lausanne Cohort 65+ (Lc65+) 
  • Swiss Inflammatory Bowel Disease Cohort Study (SIBDCS) 
  • Swiss Systemic lupus erythematosus Cohort Study (SSCS) 
  • Swiss Clinical Quality Management in Rheumatic Diseases (SCQM)
  • Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Cohort (SMSC)
  • Swiss Health Study - Pilot Phase (SHeS-PP)

The ability to query each cohort at the variable level allows researchers to easily identify data sets of interests and explore the metadata. It also provides a unique opportunity for cohorts to explore the harmonization potential across multiple studies without having to share the actual data. 

Note: The CoLaus and CoLaus|PsyCoLaus entries on the catalogue are currently being updated.

The Maelstrom metadata catalogue in more detail

To foster collaborative research and promote the reuse of data, Maelstrom Research developed a toolkit tailored to the needs of epidemiology research studies. The toolkit consists of a metadata model and a suite of open-source software applications that, when combined, allow the creation of fully searchable, web-based metadata catalogues. The Maelstrom metadata catalogue was deployed to allow the metadata dissemination of over 380 epidemiological studies. The catalogue allows customizable and detailed study descriptions using definite metadata fields and variable annotations based on an in-house classification system composed of 18 domains and 135 subdomains. This flexibility facilitates the reference and extraction of variables by topic of interest and the comparison of domain-specific data collected throughout research, subpopulations, and data collection events. 


For more detail see

Watch the following video to learn more about the SPHN Cohort Consortium on the Maelstrom metadata catalogue and how to query the metadata: 

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