The Medical Informatics Platform has three operational objectives for the ramp-up phase. The first is to build the tools to federate clinical data, including genetics and imaging, currently locked in hospital and research archives, while providing technical guarantees that researchers cannot link the data to individual patients except under strict medical control and legal supervision; the second is to recruit hospitals to use the system; the third is to develop tools making it possible to extract unique biological signatures of disease from multi-level data for patients with many different disorders, making it possible to develop a new, comprehensive classification of brain diseases, based on parameterised combinations of biological features and markers.

This will require the development of a new class of data classification techniques, which we call rule-based clustering. Success would 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 adverse effects of treatments, providing valuable input for industry decision-makers before they invest in expensive programmes of animal experimentation or human trials.

Classification techniques created within Subproject 8 will be complemented by new methods for rule-based clustering of medical data.developed by projects selected through the HBP Competitive Calls programme.

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