GenoMed4All in the spotlight - A webinar on AI and Genomics

Last week, Iñaki Galera and Víctor Mateos -our colleagues from Dedalus- participated in an open webinar on Artificial Intelligence and Genomics.

There, they kindly introduced GenoMed4All and walked the audience through the basics of genomic data, the importance of rare disease research and the core technical pillars of our project.

For our Spanish speakers: feel free to revisit the webinar in the full recording below!


GenoMed4All at the IUBMB Focused Meeting - Hemoglobin Switching Conference

This month has been a busy one! Early in May, GenoMed4All participated in the IUBMB Focused Meeting - Hemoglobin Switching Conference, a reference event for scientific exchange and dialogue on globin gene regulation and pathophysiology.

The Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) team proudly presented a poster showcasing the work done so far, titled: "GenoMed4All: Artificial Intelligence-based Deep Learning algorithms for patients with Sickle Cell Disease". Our colleague Petros Kountouris -from The Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics- was there on behalf of the project and reports that there was a lot of interest from the participants in these specific results.

Congratulations to everyone involved! You can check out the poster here at our Zenodo repository.

Authors: A.Idrizovic, S. van der Veen, M. D. M. Mañú-Pereira, A. Collado Gimbert, R. Colombatti, M. P. Boaro, P. Bartolucci, M. de Montalembert, M.H. Cnossen, B.J. Biemond, M. Kleanthous, E.J. van Beers, P. Kountouris

GenoMed4All at Expo Dubai 2020

A few weeks ago we were invited by the European Commission and –the International Outreach Office on human-centric AI– to participate in the EU AI Week (14-18 March 2022) at Expo Dubai, as a way to showcase European Excellence and Trust in Artificial Intelligence around the world.

In the frame of this high-level event, hosted a series of sessions on the European approach to AI. One of these events was the Expert Workshop on AI for Health, in which our coordinator, Federico Álvarez, participated as a panelist. He was also accompanied by representatives from 2 other EU-funded projects: DIH-HERO and EuCanImage.

The panel focused on practical examples of European AI excellence in the healthcare sector and discussed the practical implications of AI in healthcare, mostly on how to reconcile social and ethical aspects in a human-centric approach to AI that upholds our European values. After the official round of introductions and a brief overview of the guest projects, the panelists engaged in open discussion. Federico's interventions focused on the concept of federation and how we understand it in GenoMed4All. We are dealing with very sensitive data (namely genomics, imaging and clinical data), while also operating in the realm of rare diseases, which inevitably adds another layer of complexity to the search for new AI models and patterns in hematological disorders.

[on]... the concept of federation, we go a bit beyond, we do Federated Learning.  [...] Would any of you like to share your genomic information openly? Maybe not. But if we do it in a way that this information stays in the hospital where the patient gave their consent, then we can create a big network and this [...] for hematological diseases is really important, because they are rare: there are not so many cases in Europe, so we want to connect all the repositories.

Apart from data scarcity and fragmentation, another great challenge to be mindful of is the issue of data sharing and cross-border exchanges of health data. While cautious, Federico remained hopeful on this front:

[...] We are working on ethics and legal protection, and what I find interesting is that if we want to cooperate outside Europe, we already know how to, we can export that to the rest of the world, and they can join this federated infrastructure. It's not an issue! Engineers will find a way of coping with models that can exchange cross-border data in a way that can preserve privacy, data protection and our European values. Another point we think is relevant is the standardization of genomic information, so we also want to find a way for people to cooperate with the same standards on their research.

When asked about the long-term sustainability of the project, Federico presented our vision for GenoMed4All's platform and how this privacy-by-design approach will be fundamental to scale up and onboard more and more clinical sites through distributed algorithms. The challenge, as always, lies in how to effectively transform research breakthroughs into solutions with clear clinical usability and fully compliant with current regulations so that AI can have a real, positive impact in the lives of so many European patients.

[The key is in] ...really connecting all these different hospitals, clinics... places where we can find this data, especially for some diseases that are not so common, and [...] on how to transition from researchers doing something that is valuable to bringing something to the hospitals that will work and be adopted, so that finally European patients can benefit from AI.

All in all, this event was the perfect opportunity  to present our views on AI and its potential to drive the future of personalized medicine in hematological diseases and it was an honour to share the stage with some fantastic experts. Check out the workshop livestream below for the full experience!

ERN-EuroBloodNet and GenoMed4All at #ASH21

The strong 63rd Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Society of Hematology took place this past week in Atlanta... and our colleagues from ERN-EuroBloodNet did not miss the occasion! The results from two projects promoted by the ERN were showcased in the oral and poster abstracts on December 13th, you can browse through their abstracts here.

We are already looking forward to next year's event!


Photo by Samuel Pereira on Unsplash

Insights from our first Patient Engagement e-Workshop

On September 30th we had the pleasure of hosting our first patient engagement session - A meeting with Myelodysplastic Syndromes, Multiple Myeloma and Sickle Cell Disease EU patients' associations.

Over 70 people registered for the online event to listen to our wonderful speakers - Ananda Plate (Myeloma Patients Europe), Sophie Wintrich (MDS Alliance) and Ariane Weinman (EURORDIS) - who all agreed on one fundamental aspect: patients need to be at the center stage of AI applications in healthcare; not just in a supporting role. Overall, the session was a meaningful step for GenoMed4All to build and maintain the conversation on patient-centricity in the development of clinical AI tools.