Big Data: What Does it Mean for Your Health?

Big data means many things to different people, but most agree that more data means better information leading to better decision making. Take Netflix as an example. It gathers tons of data from our watching habits and uses it to provide personalized recommendations and develop new content to improve the user experience. Healthcare is not Netflix, but can we borrow their approach to ensure that data is used more effectively to improve people’s experience? To start, we need to rethink how we collect and use research data. This is why the Ontario Brain Institute and our partners have developed our data platform called Brain-CODE.

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Brain-CODE – An Engine for Collaboration

The Ontario Brain Institute (OBI)  builds collaborations between Ontario neuroscientists so that they can combine their diverse expertise and resources to better understand brain disorders and translate these discoveries into new tools and treatments. Continue reading “Brain-CODE – An Engine for Collaboration”

Brain-CODE Offers First Open Data Access

Ontario has one of the highest concentrations of brain researchers anywhere in the world. But researchers in this community largely worked in isolation and tended not to share ideas or data. The Ontario Brain Institute’s (OBI’s) Integrated Discovery Programs changed this and brought large groups of researchers together to better understand and treat brain disorders. This collaborative approach led to the idea of standardizing data and housing it in a shared space where it is curated, analyzed and shared. This ensures that the data are collected in the same manner, making it easier to share and accelerate discovery. Continue reading “Brain-CODE Offers First Open Data Access”

Setting the Stage for Deep-Data Analysis and Innovation

“With great power comes great responsibility” – Ben Parker.

Ontario Brain Institute’s (OBI) researchers collect ‘deep data’ using scientific and clinical tools like behavioural tests, neuroimaging and genetics. By bringing these data together in Brain-CODE, we can develop a holistic approach to understanding brain disorders. A recent report, “Dementia Research and Care: Can Big Data Help?”, by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Ontario Brain Institute and the University of Toronto highlighted the potential of linking ‘deep data’ from basic and clinical research to ‘broad data’ from healthcare and population-level statistics to driving new discoveries and applications of research in healthcare and policy.

The question is how can we best link ‘deep’ research data and ‘broad’ health data to drive new discoveries and benefit people in their communities?

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Inventiveness Accelerates Drug Discovery Process- A smart shortcut to developing new drug treatments for Parkinson’s disease

It takes almost a decade and billions of dollars to develop a drug for brain disorders. Furthermore, 88% of those drugs fail clinical trials because of their lack of efficacy and safety1.  The entire process is not only daunting but very costly, in terms of time and money.

But, what if there was a way to accelerate the process? Continue reading “Inventiveness Accelerates Drug Discovery Process- A smart shortcut to developing new drug treatments for Parkinson’s disease”

Sharing Data For Better And More Efficient Science

By: Teige Bourke, Outreach Intern, Ontario Brain Institute

Brain disorders are not straightforward. Disorders like depression result from a complex interplay between an individual’s experiences and their biology. Understanding the underlying mechanisms requires a lot of information that can only be extracted through research that uses many different techniques with large groups of people. Continue reading “Sharing Data For Better And More Efficient Science”

Principles for Collective Research Acceleration

By: Suzanna Stevanoski, OBI Intern, Operations

Sharing data on a large-scale requires the creation of a highly sophisticated system, one that allows many researchers to connect, manage, protect, and standardize data. That’s why OBI is finding innovative ways to unite researchers in pooling their expertise and resources to achieve greater impact than they could have achieved in isolation. Continue reading “Principles for Collective Research Acceleration”