Towards a learning healthcare system through collaboration

There is no question that the looming grey tsunami of the ageing population in Ontario has significant implications with regards to healthcare services. A key concept which is emerging is the opportunity to foster and maintain brain health across the lifespan where optimal performance and quality is sustained. While much focus has been on the attempts to intervene once brain disease has taken hold, progress has been slow.

Clearly, new thinking and leveraging new opportunities will be necessary given the implications of an ageing at-risk population. The Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) is leading the charge to engage a learning healthcare system by bringing research to the community and fostering best practices in data science. The emerging research in data science and using so-called ‘real-world data’ in effect pushes the boundaries of research from the high-end hospital-based system of formal clinical trials, towards a process of continuous quality improvement in the community, where research becomes normal activity fostering learning and refining best-in-class care.

In effect, we are striving to make the community the laboratory and the healthcare system itself, the engine of innovation and optimization. The pieces of this learning healthcare system are in place and while the integration of the various pieces is complex, data-driven approaches are where new knowledge will be discovered, deployed and assessed in service of maintained health spans. As we transition towards applying an integrated approach to keeping our brains healthy, we are implementing better ways to communicate our work. The renewed edition of our Brainnovations newsletter helps visualize our projects and achievements in connection to relevant outputs that move us closer to our goal.

By bringing together partners in neuroscience, healthcare, data science and industry, OBI is accelerating the pathway towards improved brain health and enhancing the health spans of people living in Ontario. The work we do and the steps we take forward are strengthening a foundation where we can equip ourselves in preparation for the large wave of healthcare challenges to come.

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”

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”

Brain: The Ontario Story

This is the first thing you see as you enter ‘Brain: The Inside Story’ exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre. It is a metaphor— a reminder that your brain is constantly at work, sending signals through wiry fibres called axons that connect the 86 billion neurons and gives rise to everything you think, feel, and do. It is truly remarkable that the brain does so much, and this exhibition dives deep into how the brain senses, emotes, thinks, ages, and how emerging or existing technologies will change our brains in the 21st century. Continue reading “Brain: The Ontario Story”