Dec. 16, 2021

Event Recap: EAN-EBRAINS Joint Workshop: The Future of Medical Data Sharing in Clinical Neurosciences


The HBP and EBRAINS together with the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) invited the entire scientific community to join a workshop on the Future of Medical Data Sharing in Clinical Neurosciences between 9–11 December 2021. This event aimed at identifying and openly discussing all issues and challenges associated with data sharing in Europe, from ethics to data safety and privacy, including those specific to data federation, such as the development and validation of federated algorithms.

An engaging online experience

While the event was initially planned to take place in a hybrid format, both in Lausanne, Switzerland and online, it had to be turned fully virtual last-minute due to Covid-19 developments. Nevertheless, the workshop sparked great interest in the scientific community and the online format made it possible to host 157 participants from 50 nations. With more than 70 members of the EAN and more than 40 HBP researchers joining the workshop, the workshop was an important collaborative encounter to discuss the future paths of medical data sharing in Europe.

Programme co-developed by HBP & EBRAINS and the European Academy of Neurology

The workshop programme, jointly developed in an excellent collaboration between the HBP & EBRAINS and the European Academy of Neurology, provided an important forum to discuss the latest developments and future of medical data sharing in Europe.

Scientific Chairs Thomas Berger & Philippe Ryvlin welcome the participants of the workshop

The first day offered an introduction to the workshop in two plenary sessions featuring high-level speakers from both partners. HBP Scientific Research Director Katrin Amunts gave an overview of the HBP’s scientific work relevant to clinical neuroscience, before HBP Paweł Świeboda, director general of the HBP & CEO of EBRAINS AISBL outlined the major tools and services on the EBRAINS Research Infrastructure which will power a new era in brain research. Paul Boon, president elect of the EAN, concluded the session with an overview on the EAN’s achievements and future ambitions.

Katrin Amunts (left) gave an overview of the Human Brain Project. Afterwards, Paweł Świeboda (right) presented the EBRAINS research infrastructure

 In the second part, the scientific chairs of the workshop Philippe Ryvlin & Thomas Berger offered insights on the relevance of federating data and its applications to clinical neurosciences.

A joint forum of discussion for researchers & developers

The second workshop day offered space to dive deeper into both use cases and challenges of data federation in two parallel programme tracks. While one track focused on data federation in different disease types, such as dementia, traumatic brain injury, stroke, epilepsy and others, the other track offered the opportunity for participants to engage with the challenges of medical data sharing from ethics over data safety and privacy to federated analytics, ontologies & knowledge graphs.

Impressions from the parallel sessions

The workshops concluded with two interactive formats on Saturday. During a brainstorming session from EAN scientific panels on data sharing, EAN scientific panel members discussed the status and prospects of data sharing in their panels. In parallel, a hands-on session on the Medical Informatics Platform, an innovative tool to investigate, compare and analyse large patient data sets in a federated manner, was offered to participants.

If you want to read more about the EAN-EBRAINS Joint Workshop, visit the event page: https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/en/education/ebrains-workshops/medicaldata/ or consider watching the session recordings in the HBP Education E-Library.

To learn more about EBRAINS’ Medical Informatics Platform, visit the EBRAINS Website: https://ebrains.eu/service/medical-informatics-platform

To learn more about the European Academy of Neurology, visit the website: https://www.ean.org/