A Landmark Collaboration: Genomed4All and SYNTHEMA Join Forces in Barcelona

On the 17th of January, the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research in Barcelona became the focal point for a groundbreaking joint session between two leading European projects: Genomed4All and SYNTHEMA. This event marked a pivotal moment in the realm of healthcare innovation, showcasing the synergy between these initiatives dedicated to harnessing Artificial Intelligence in healthcare and more specifically health data.

The gathering in Barcelona echoed the essence of a previous online joint webinar, reinforcing the collaborative spirit that defines these EU-funded projects. Both initiatives, though unique in their specific approaches, are united by a common mission: to revolutionize the approach to diagnosing and treating rare diseases through the power of AI.

As Genomed4All approaches its culmination at the end of 2024, it is set to pass the torch to SYNTHEMA. Genomed4All’s significant contribution lies in creating a secure Federated Learning platform for pooling genomic health data. SYNTHEMA is poised to build on this foundation, focusing on generating high-quality synthetic data that will enhance the creation of virtual patient models, thus significantly improving diagnostic and treatment options.

The session was enriched by the insights of Federico Álvarez, the Project Coordinator for both initiatives. He highlighted the shared objectives, the common network of partners, and the unified vision in combating diseases like Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), Multiple Myeloma (MM), and Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). Their partnership with the European Reference Network in Rare Hematological Diseases (ERN-EuroBloodNet) is a testament to the collaborative effort across borders.

Mar Mañú from Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) focused on Sickle Cell Disease as a case study, discussing the complexities of data collection and the heterogeneous distribution of health data across Europe. Her insights underscored the challenges faced by researchers and the opportunities that SYNTHEMA and Genomed4All provide in advancing the study of such rare diseases.

Professor Silvia Uribe from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) provided a technical perspective on the development of asynchronous distributed systems, emphasizing the importance of the right infrastructure in the transformation, collection, and standardization of data.

This joint session in Barcelona not only highlighted the impressive strides made by both Genomed4All and SYNTHEMA but also paved the way for their continued collaboration. As these projects advance, their collective efforts promise to bring about transformative changes in the field of rare hematological diseases, driven by the innovative use of artificial intelligence.

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