The overall goal of SP8 is to provide researchers with the tools to access and analyse large amounts of ananymised clinical data via an innovative data management system.

SP8 had three objectives for the Ramp-Up Phase. The first was to build tools to federate clinical data that are currently locked in hospital and research archives, while providing technical guarantees that researchers are unable to link the data to individual patients except under strict medical control and legal supervision. The second objective was to recruit hospitals to use the system, and the third was to develop tools that would enable users to extract unique biological signatures of disease from multi-level data for patients with many different disorders. This will make it possible to develop a new, comprehensive classification of brain diseases, based on parameterised combinations of biological features and markers.

These initial steps will accelerate the development of a new category of biologically based diagnostics, supported by strong mechanistic hypotheses of disease causation. Disease signatures will also serve as disease-specific configurations for reconstructing models of disease and performing in silico experiments with the Brain Simulation Platform. The results will help researchers to develop new targets and new strategies for treatment. Brain simulation will make it possible to predict the desirable and undesirable effects of treatments, providing valuable input for industry decision-makers before they invest in expensive programmes of animal experimentation or human trials.

In SGA1, SP8 aims to achieve:

  • A first version of the Medical Informatics Platform, with access for academic researchers, epidemiologists and clinicians;
  • Federation nodes in five hospitals for in-situ querying of anonymised data;
  • Web-based services for neuro-epidemiological studies, interactive analysis and exploraiton of the biological signatures of Alzheimer's disease;
  • Initial publicaitons demonstrating the value of the Platform.

What People are Saying

  • After 150 years, we've reached a bit of a stalemate in how we think about disease. So what we aim to do is to redefine disease - to base it much more on what's going wrong in the biology of the brain rather than peoples' accounts of their symptoms and how we put them together into syndromes.

    Prof. Richard Frackowiak - Head of Service of Neurology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois,
    co-director of the HBP and co-leader of the Medical Informatics subproject

  • The goal of Medical Informatics is to take Medicine and Computer Science to the next era.

    Prof. Anastasia Ailamaki, Data-Intensive Applications and Systems Laboratory,
    Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, co-leader of the Medical Informatics subproject