A joint talk on ethics with PERSIST

EU4CHILD and the PERSIST project have met in a first insightful discussion about cancer and the ethics surrounding it, in an age where advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence are taking center stage.

What is PERSIST about? The PERSIST project works to provide a patients-centered survivorship care plan after cancer treatments, based on Artificial Intelligence and Big data technologies. Both in the field of oncology paired with technologies such as AI and big data, EU4CHILD and PERSIST hold deep potential synergies that must be explored in order to maximize results.

During the meeting, the power of ethics was discussed, especially when it comes to sensitive subjects such as childhood cancer and related data. Childhood cancer is a rare disease, of varied nature, requiring different approaches. When it comes to childhood cancer, the emotional distress among family members and parents is a relevant factor, affecting the treatment process, including how AI in medicine in general, and prediction models in particular, need to be understandable/explainable to a non-expert audience. The presentation was led by Norbert Graf, from the EU4CHILD consortium, and it discussed important questions related to the topic, such as:

  • How high is the risk of re-identification for anonymized medical data?
  • How freely can informed consent be given under these circumstances?
  • How can this be achieved for patients of different age groups and their parents as well?
  • Who can be responsible in the case of a diagnostic or treatment error?

A discussion highlight was how a central repository may not be suitable for AI applications, considering how medical experts have struggled to develop central solutions for the last 30 years and have so far been unable to make them work. This is because central repositories can only use fixed schemes and there are tremendous barriers against data sharing. In addition, real-time updates for AI algorithms should be considered instead of batch learning.

After a very successful first meeting, we now prepare for a second encounter in September with our PERSIST colleagues to further exploit our synergies and power towards a better approach in AI applied to cancer pathways.



Photo by Marcus Wallis on Unsplash

Our second General Assembly in Rome

It is always nice to step outside of the virtual world and back to the real one to meet in person again! For our second General Assembly last week, the EU4CHILD consortium decided to gather in the so-called Eternal City.

Overall, a great 2 days of back and forth discussions (framed by amazing food and weather!), and a breath of fresh air to interact directly with our Advisory Board, both to share their expert perspective and to make us reflect on the hard-hitting questions that drive EU4CHILD forward.

Thanks to everyone involved, and let's keep pushing forward in the fight against Childhood Cancer!



We are launching our Fieldwork Survey!

EU4CHILD intends to lay the foundations for the development of a multi-purpose ecosystem for a Paediatric Cancer Data inventory, seeking to understand the main challenges behind digitalization and data sharing through the development of a potential set of AI-based services for the detection, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of several types of childhood cancers. A huge part of this effort is driven by our fieldwork strategy, which includes personal interviews, focus groups and surveys as the main research tools to map out and address our stakeholder's needs.

As a first step in our fieldwork plan, we are glad to present EU4CHILD's Fieldwork Survey! This online survey has been created to assess and refine the requirements already identified in our initial analysis of EU policy, other EU funded projects and related literature on how to approach to creation of an AI-based ecosystem for childhood cancer.

Are you a survivor of pediatric cancer or a caregiver? Do you work in the healthcare sector? Are you an IT expert or a policy maker? Maybe you are just a normal citizen interested in the potential of AI in health?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, we would be honored if you could participate in this survey and give us your opinion! As always, the process is completely anonymous and it will only take 10 minutes of your time. Thanks for your cooperation!

Click here to navigate directly to our Fieldwork survey



Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

We need your help! Check out our Questionnaire on Data Protection in Childhood Cancer

We are designing a new framework for research on Artificial Intelligence (AI), active collaboration and knowledge exchange on childhood cancer.

As a first step in this journey, we are researching the requirements and necessities for an online ecosystem that will support medical professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of children with cancer. This ecosystem will be able to provide diagnostic support and treatment recommendations with the help of AI. For patients and their families, the ecosystem is intended to provide better understanding of the disease and treatment.

We would like to get your opinion on this topic and so, we have developed a questionnaire that is available online in 5 languages (English, German, Spanish, French and Italian). It will only take you a few minutes to complete and it will help us immensely: click here to navigate to our questionnaire and let your voice be heard!



Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

EU4CHILD's first official slide deck is out!

Curious about our project? We are proud to present EU4CHILD's first slide deck: a brief presentation on our vision for a EU ecosystem on Childhood Cancer, our tools and services and most importantly, our motivation to connect patients, carers, clinicians and technical experts to provide improved diagnosis, personalised treatment and care through the power of Artificial Intelligence.

Check it out here!



Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Our public community at Zenodo has just launched!

Here at EU4CHILD we all share the vision of the European Open Science Cloud and Open Access research initiatives. Thus, we are committed to making our results easily accessible to other fellow researchers and the wider community, and will provide open access to peer-reviewed publications and scientific data generated within our project.

That’s why we have set up a dedicated community and repository at Zenodo, where we will be uploading publications, public deliverables, data, press releases and much more as the project goes on.

Check it out here!

EU4CHILD kicks off its fight against Childhood Cancer

It's official! On May 7th, all EU4CHILD partners gathered virtually to discuss and set the stage for what is to come: our vision for a European ecosystem of Artificial Intelligence services for pediatric cancer that pushes the boundaries on current research and leaves nobody behind.

EU4CHILD is a PPPA-AG (Pilot Project & Preparation Action Grant) to connect key European stakeholders in childhood cancer care by means of eXplainable AI. During this next year and half, we are committed to build an engaged community of patients and families, healthcare professionals, AI experts and policy makers to advance diagnosis, treatment and quality of life in childhood cancer.

Read our press release to learn more!



Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash