4 November 2021
Over the last eight years, the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) has accumulated a substantial toolkit of standards and policies that aim to enable the responsible sharing of genomic data. The Genomics in Health Implementation Forum (GHIF) was born out of the need to facilitate the implementation of these products into real-world practice.
Through collaboration with initiatives from around the globe, the forum helps initiatives reduce duplication of efforts by sharing infrastructure and technical solutions. In addition to promoting the collection of compatible clinical genomic data and health information to enable data sharing, specific projects from the community aim to support accurate data interpretation, gene curation, and quality control of whole genome sequence data. A by-product of this forum is the collection of real-world insights that feed back into the development of standards to support genomic data sharing.
The GHIF began as a series of workshop meetings between National Initiatives all aiming to implement genomics into their countries’ healthcare systems. These meetings focused on sharing resources, identifying common challenges, and pinpointing opportunities for collaboration.
“We were going from show and tell to engaging in pilot projects of genomic and clinical data sharing across national borders,” said Kathryn North, Director of Murdoch Childrens Institute and Vice Chair of GA4GH, describing the evolution of the GHIF. As this “National Initiatives” group shifted towards actively implementing GA4GH standards, the community was formalized in early 2020 into what we now know as GHIF.
On November 16 & 17, 2021, the GHIF will be hosting their bi-annual working meeting. Initiatives from around the world will convene to discuss current data sharing opportunities and challenges, as well as updates in relation to GA4GH standard implementation. Newcomers and current members alike are invited to explore the ways in which GA4GH standards are changing the face of global data sharing and human health. Register for the GHIF working meeting here.