July 11, 2014

Thomas Trappenberg participated in the OBI's Brain-CODE Analytics Workshop on May 28/29, 2014 on behalf of the Dalhousie Institute for Big Data analytics. OBI is the Ontario Brain Institute, a major initiative by the province of Ontaria to develop brain science into practical medical solutions. This is an urgent topic given the expected but dramatic increase of neurological disorders in our aging population. While this non-profit research institute is mainly sponsored by the province of Ontario, there are an increasing number of partners in other provinces and internationally.

The focus of the workshop was on the analytics of brain data. Topics included presenting and communicating data, fostering specific brain initiatives, software infrastructures to share and mine brain data, and issues around security and privacy concerns for health data. An increased need for education in this area was also mentioned.

The participants were very enthusiastic about the opportunities in finding health solutions with the help of increasingly available brain data. Several non-profit organizations and international companies were also present. Thomas gave an outline of machine learning techniques to health data that was well received. It would be very desirable if our province could partner with OBI by sharing some of our data and to contribute with our expertise on big data analytics.