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.

Continue reading “Big Data: What Does it Mean for Your Health?”

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?

Continue reading “Setting the Stage for Deep-Data Analysis and Innovation”

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”

Expanding The Borders Of Research Through Cross-Disorder Collaborations

While autism, epilepsy, or depression may at first seem worlds apart, there is benefit in studying these and other brain disorders together. Each condition has unique traits, but there is often overlap. For instance, people living with autism may experience depression and people living with cerebral palsy may have seizures. Brain research is inherently complex – different disorders may share similar underlying causes and similar disorders may have very different underlying causes. Although this makes things complicated, it also creates an opportunity to borrow insights from one disorder to inform research into another disorder. Continue reading “Expanding The Borders Of Research Through Cross-Disorder Collaborations”

Brain-CODE’s Leadership

In this era of big data and analytics, organizations are looking for ways to make use of all the information available to facilitate innovation, decision making and operations. Big data analytics in health research has been an important topic for the past few years and making data more accessible to a larger number of researchers leads to more efficient research strategies and creates new opportunities for scientific discoveries. When scientists have the opportunity to collaborate and share data, the value of each of their work is maximized and can be built on collectively. Continue reading “Brain-CODE’s Leadership”

Training for New Kinds of Neuro-Talent

Ontario is recognized as a world leader in brain research but the province’s healthcare system and economy have room to benefit from stronger efforts in science innovation.  An asset that is of critical value but is often overlooked is access to the right kinds of people—in this case, people that have the skillset to move scientific ideas into the marketplace. Continue reading “Training for New Kinds of Neuro-Talent”