The essence of the PHT approach is that the research question travels to the datasource ‘stations’ rather than data from various sources having to be transported to the research question. So, sensitive data remains where it is. The PHT can transport ‘workflows’ for complex research questions; ‘Which data elements are most predictive of survival after lung cancer given all data in the Netherlands?’; or more specific: ‘Which data stations contain data about me?’
The PHT connects different data 'stations’. Stations can range from very large databases to small personal lockers containing the data of one person. Each station has its own set of house rules describing what a visiting ‘train’ is allowed to do with their data. Ranging from ‘nobody can do anything’ to ‘anyone can use this element as they wish’.
Large scale application of the PHT requires that health data is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).