With the BigDataEurope project finalizing its first round of pilots, a second online hang-out event “The Open PHACTS pilot” was organized by the Open PHACTS Foundation and the VU University Amsterdam on the 6th of July 2016 (11.00-12-00 CET). This online event, followed by members of SMEs and public entities from Europe, aimed to keep everybody updated on the “Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing” Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge activities in the framework of the project, in particular on the description of the pilot currently under development for the Big Data Europe platform.
The first BDE Hangout for Societal Challenge 1: Health was held on the 25th of November. The goal of this virtual meetup was to present the current state of affairs to SC1’s stakeholders and to discuss the proposed pilot in this challenge. In total, 9 people attended the hangout, four of which were BDE presenters.
To start of the hangout, Victor de Boer from VU University Amsterdam who filled in for Bryn Williams-Jones presented the overall setup of the BDE project and the pilots in particular. He discussed the background of the Health pilot by recapping the main objectives of the OpenPHACTS project. View the slides here.
Aad Versteden and Erika Pauwels from BDE-partner TenForce then presented the current state and setup of the BDE Big Data platform. They discussed background issues around ‘big data’, presented the overall architecture and what the different components will look like. View their slides here.
Ronald Siebes from VUA then continued by detailing the SC1 pilot. For the first Health pilot, we will replicate part of the OpenPHACTS functionality, to ensure that the BDE infrastructure is able to deal with the issues surrounding the Variety of data. In subsequent phases, the pilot will be extended with more functionality, targeting other “V’s” of Big Data such as Velocity or Volume. Ronald’s slides can be found here
Finally, the floor was opened for a short but interesting discussion. From the discussion, we take that it will remain a challenge for BDE to make sure that the generic architecture of the platform is able to deal with the wildly varying demands of domain experts in the SC domains. Also, we were reminded that the piloting and evaluation methodology of OpenPHACTS was one of its success factors. This is something that we will indeed be taking into account in the BDE piloting and evaluation plan, the first version of which will be delivered at the end of this year.
There’s some great conferences coming up in this domain relating to big data in healthcare use cases. Some of these there will be BDE representation, but all are relevant to the challenges on using big data in the health, demographic change and wellbeing societal challenge. So, if you want to understand more about big data and how it relates to our use cases then please consider coming along to these:
- BioData World Congress 21-22 October 2015 at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridge “Genomics, big data and bioinformatics mark the start of the journey, personalised medicine is the end goal. How we get there will depend on whether we can get useable intelligence from the data – and then acting on it. “
- Open Bridges for Life Science Data 17-18 November 2015 at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridge “Join us to discuss the latest advances in the technical infrastructure behind large-scale data sharing in the life sciences, and the interoperability of data resources supporting biological, medical, translational and clinical research.”
- Target Validation using Genomics and Informatics 8-10 December at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridge “This meeting will bring together researchers based in academia and industry to focus on the opportunities and challenges for genomics in drug discovery”
All are very relevant to the challenges of big data in this domain, and particularly the role that data variety plays in this setting. These themes are further explored in a recent blog post by Timothy Danford here which highlights some of the issues and challenges in working with big clinical data at the moment. We can’t solve all of this in one project, but clearly the development of standards and ontologies are vital for progress in this domain.