Health-e-ChildProject ID: 027749
Total cost:EUR 16 648 681
EU contribution:EUR 12 186 270
Call for proposal:FP6-2004-IST-4See other projects for this call
Funding scheme:IP - Integrated Project
DescriptionIntegrating medical data to save children’s lives
European researchers hope to help save children’s lives by combining complex biomedical information to treat the most difficult paediatric conditions.
The Health-e-Child project will develop a platform to integrate information from traditional and emerging sources to support personalised and preventative medicine as well as large-scale, data-based biomedical research and training.
The platform will initially be used to collect data about paediatric heart conditions, brain tumours and arthritis. All of these conditions are difficult because the exact causes are unknown, or not fully understood. The conditions may also be difficult to classify, or the treatment uncertain.
The doctors and scientists at the Health-e-Child project hope to advance knowledge of the causes, classification and most appropriate treatment for these conditions by combining all available information.
Unlocking biomedical information
Medical science has amassed a vast quantity of information about health and disease. Genetics looks at organisms on the level of molecules, while cytology studies cells.
Meanwhile clinical medicine looks at individuals while epidemiology studies diseases across entire populations. All of this information is relevant to preventing and treating disease. But currently much of this medical information is locked within specialist fields, and uses specialised computers and programs.
The Health-e-Child project is building a platform to provide access to all such information.
Grid-powered biomedical information
The team is designing the system using grid computing architecture. A grid allows resources, such as storage space and processing power, to be shared among computers on the network. These resources can be harnessed for big computing tasks, like storing or analysing large quantities of data. Grids provide enormous computing power at low cost.
The platform will need all that power to allow users to search, optimise and combine information from different scientific specialities, like genetics, clinical practice or epidemiology.
For example, doctors and researchers can use the platform to develop new disease models for paediatric conditions. Disease models outline the probable causes and most appropriate treatments for a disease.
The wide range of information supported by the Health-e-Child platform could also help doctors develop new clinical guidelines, or personalised healthcare plans for children. Over time, the system will allow doctors and scientists to perform large-scale, long-term and multi-factorial studies on difficult conditions like juvenile arthritis.
Ultimately, however, the platform could even be adapted to provide comprehensive information on patients of all ages. The Health-e-Child researchers have designed the platform to be as open and accessible as possible in order to fulfil this long-term vision.
The platform will eventually accept all relevant biomedical information. It allows researchers to combine all types of information about an individual into one, cohesive snapshot of his or her health. It will be able to provide all types of modelling and analyses, which means better and more efficient healthcare.
There is a compelling demand for the integration and exploitation of heterogeneous biomedical information for improved clinical practice, medical research, and personalized healthcare for the citizens of EU.The Health-e-Child project aims at developing an integrated healthcare platform for European Paediatrics, providing seamless integration of traditional and emerging sources of biomedical information. The long-term goal of the project is to provide uninhibited access to universal biomedical knowledge repositories for personalized and preventive healthcare, information-based biomedical research and training, and informed policy making.The objectives of Health-e-Child are:1. To gain a comprehensive view of a child's health by vertically integrating biomedical data, information, and knowledge, that spans the entire spectrum from genetic to clinical to epidemiological; 2. To develop a biomedical information platform, supported by sophisticated and robust search, optimization, and matching techniques for heterogeneous information, empowered by the Grid;3. To build enabling tools and services on top of the Health-e-Child platform, that will lead to better healthcare solutions in Europe: 3a. Integrated disease models exploiting all available information levels; 3b. Database-guided biomedical decision support systems provisioning novel clinical practices and personalized healthcare; 3c. Large-scale and cross-modality information fusion and data mining for biomedical knowledge discovery.The project focus will be on individualized disease prevention, screening, early diagnosis, therapy and follow-up of paediatric heart diseases, inflammatory diseases, and brain tumours. The project will build a Grid-enabled European network of leading clinical centres that will share and annotate biomedical data, validate systems clinically, and diffuse clinical excellence across Europe by setting up new technologies, workflows, and standards.
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