Our research group

Data Science for Health Services and Policy Research

We are the Data Science for Health Services and Policy Research of the Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud [Aragon Institute of Health Sciences].

Our scientific interest lies in analysing healthcare systems as a determining factor in individual and population health. As the foundation for analysis, we reuse the digital data collected by the system from individual and population contacts, and we generate knowledge that can power healthcare policies that improve the healthcare system.

Implications for healthcare policies and management

The scientific exercise is consequently complemented with systematic transfer of the knowledge generated to healthcare decision-makers, evaluating agencies and the healthcare organisations analysed.

A bit of history


Atlas VPM: two decades informing on unwarranted variations in health care in Spain Res Health Serv Reg 1, 5  doi.org/10.1007/s43999-022-00005-3

In 2022, Atlas of pharmaceutical prescription in diabetes in Aragón (www.cienciadedatosysalud.org/atlas/diabetes-aragon/)

Update of the Atlas for monitoring diabetes care. www.cienciadedatosysalud.org/atlas/diabetes, were published.

Collaboration in the research network:

We coordinated one of the work packages of the RICAPPS research network on chronicity, primary care and health promotion.

We lead work packages in European projects such as BY-COVID, HealthyCloud, TEHDAS www.cienciadedatosysalud.org/nosotros/proyectos-de-investigacion/

Download memory 2022 (spanish)


In 2002, the project “Atlas of Variations in Medical Practice in the National Healthcare System” (Atlas VPM), whose forerunner was the “Dartmouth Atlas”, came into being.


In 2005, The first atlas was Variaciones en cirugía ortopédica y traumatológica.

Many other atlases of variations have since been published: Atlas in general surgery interventions.


Atlas of Variations in Paediatric Hospitalisations for Selected Diagnoses and Surgical Procedures, published in 2006.


Atlas on hospitalisations due to cardiovascular problems and procedures (2007)

In 2007, an new line of research was initiated: the quality and safety of healthcare in the National Health System (NHS).


In 2008, Atlas on hospitalisations in acute hospitals for mental health problems

Atlas VPM served as the inspiration for the OECD Healthcare Quality Indicators (HCQI) Project.


In 2009, Atlas on hospitalisations for oncological surgery

Since 2009, we have been collaborating with the WHO/Europe European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies –    https://www.hspm.org/countries/spain25062012/countrypage.aspx

Download memory 2009 (Spanish)


In 2010, Atlas on hospitalisations of the elderly

In 2010, we initiated the European ECHO Project: European Collaboration for Healthcare Optimization –  http://echo-health.eu/

Founding partners of Wennberg International – http://wennbergcollaborative.org/

Publication –  Spain: Health System Review 2010; WHO EUROPE http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/128830/e94549.pdf

Download memory 2010 (Spanish)


In 2011, Atlas in potentially avoidable hospitalisations for chronic conditions

Download memory 2011 (Spanish)


In 2012, the Ministry of Health recognised Atlas VPM as a record of value for the NHS

Download memory 2012 (Spanish)


In 2013 Atlas on ischemic cerebrovascular disease management.

Collaboration in the research network – REDISSEC https://www.redissec.com/es/

In 2013, we participated in the international joint action for the exchange of good practices in the care of the chronic patient:  JOINT ACTION CHRODIS http://chrodis.eu/

The ECHO project inspired the SANTÉ policies on performance evaluation and the project on variations in medical practice in OECD countries.

Download memory 2013 (Spanish)


In 2014, a new line of research was opened: VARIATIONS BY BASIC HEALTHCARE AREA

In 2014, Atlas VPM inspired OECD policies for VALUE-BASED CARE

Download memory 2014 (Spanish)


In 2015, the first interactive digital atlas was published on Potentially Avoidable Hospitalisations for patients with chronic conditions or fragile status.

In 2015, we participated in the project focused on a European data infrastructure – BRIDGEHEALTH https://www.bridge-health.eu/

Publication of the main ECHO Project results in the “European Journal of Public Health” http://echo-health.eu/supplement/

ECHO inspired the OECD Healthcare Indicators (HCQI) Project.

Download memory 2015 (Spanish)


In 2016, Atlas on Lower Value Care

In 2016, a new line of research was opened: Variations in Results in Primary Care

Download memory 2016 (Spanish)


In 2017: Potentially Avoidable Hospitalisations in Chronic Conditions 2015, Variations in Lower Value Care 2015

Monitoring of Diabetes Care.

In 2017, Presentation was given in the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT – Health Systems for the Future. Insights from the ECHO Project.

Download memory 2017 (Spanish)


In 2018, Project initiation: ICTUSnet – http://ictusnet-sudoe.eu/es/ Data mining to analyse the attention to ischaemic stroke in three countries

Development of a European research infrastructure based on real-world data: Joint Action InfAct – https://www.inf-act.eu/

Publication in Spain: 2018 Health System Review ; WHO EUROPE https://www.hspm.org/countries/spain25062012/countrypage.aspx

Download memory 2018 (Spanish)


In 2019, the 2010-2015 Atlas on Potentially Avoidable Hospitalisations in Chronic conditions (Healthcare Area and Basic Health Area) was published.

In 2019, a new line of research was opened: Project Concept, using bulk data to assess cohorts of patients with chronic conditions.

Download memory 2019 (spanish)


In 2020, Variations in Lower Value Care. 2017 Update (www.cienciadedatosysalud.org/en/atlases/variations-in-lower-value-care-2017-update/) and Atlas of Variations in Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery. Data 2017 (www.cienciadedatosysalud.org/en/atlases/atlas-of-variations-in-orthopaedic-and-trauma-surgery-data-2017/ ), were published.

In 2020, a new line of research was opened: Population Health Information Research Infraestructure (PHIRI). A structured European mechanism for COVID-19 exchange to organize and share information between countries is urgently needed, especially in the area of population health. More information about projects

Download memory 2020 (spanish)


Atlas of unwarranted variation in the quality of hospital care. Atlas

Atlas of Variations in Oncological Surgery.  Atlas

 Atlas of variations in paediatric hospitalisations. Atlas

Collaboration in the research network:

The group coordinates one of the work packages of RICAPPS, a research network on chronicity, primary care and health promotion.

We participate by leading work packages in European projects such as BY-COVID, HealthyCloud, TEHDAS cienciadedatosysalud.org/en/projects/

Download memory 2021 (spanish)