LaLiga sportsbiz

Foundation 29 And LaLiga, In Collaboration With Microsoft, Publish Open Datasets To Support Medical Research

By Taruka Srivastav | June 29, 2021

To improve and advance scientific research that helps address challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that companies and public agencies work together to generate data and develop the capacity to share it with the scientific community.

That is, to create open datasets that can be shared safely (guaranteeing privacy) to promote research on diseases and improve the response and care for future health risks, respecting the legal frameworks applicable in the different regions.

LaLiga was the first sports organisation in Europe to implement the necessary protocols to allow players and fans to return to the sport safely. As one of the most followed competitions worldwide, it also made the decision, from the start of the 2020-2021 season, to support the scientific community by creating a dataset that includes anonymized information related to PCR tests of the players and staff of LaLiga clubs. This one-of-a-kind dataset can be consulted for research purposes through a platform that Foundation 29 has made available to organisations and institutions that wish to share their data with the scientific community for research purposes, in a secure and private way.

“From LaLiga we worked intensively, since the beginning of the pandemic, to create sanitary protocols that would allow the competition to develop with the maximum guarantees,” said Jaime Blanco, part of the LaLiga presidential team and acting head of protocols and tests. “Thanks to this and the rigorous test plan carried out, we have gathered a volume of data that can serve the scientific community to better understand and combat COVID-19. We are very proud of what has been achieved and we are delighted with the collaboration with Foundation 29 and Microsoft.” 

HealthData 29, Foundation 29’s data sharing platform, has been designed to respond to the growing need for knowledge generation in the health sector. The data sharing model has recently been recognised by the Spanish Data Protection Agency, which highlights the confidence in its design.

“As a result of our experience, at Foundation 29 we know that one of the main problems in biomedical research is that health data is often in the possession of health institutions and is not accessible to researchers or to patients themselves,” said Carlos Mascías Cadavid, medical director of Foundation 29.

“For this reason, we have created a tool that helps to bring together the anonymised data generated by any disease, so that we can access a much faster, agile and inclusive management. We have done this with LaLiga data related to the management of the coronavirus, and thanks to the invaluable help of Microsoft.” 

Microsoft believes that everyone can benefit from opening up, sharing and collaborating around data to make better decisions and help address some of the world’s most pressing societal challenges, such as improving the diagnosis and prevention mechanisms of diseases like COVID- 19. In this way, the company has made its technology available to different organisations around the world to support the sharing of data that respects the fundamental rights of people.

“Microsoft’s contribution has been to support scientists, institutions and researchers in the creation of open datasets necessary for scientific advancement,” added Gabriel López, director of Regulatory Affairs at Microsoft in Spain.

“The work of Foundation 29 and LaLiga is a clear example of how much we can advance, if we work collaboratively for the benefit of society. From Microsoft, we encourage organisations that have useful data for research to share them openly and, of course, privately and securely.” 

LaLiga sportsbiz