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Pioneering Belgian project ATHENA paves the way for Real-World Data reuse in research and personalized care

ATHENA, a VLAIO-funded multi-stakeholder project, clears the path for increased reuse of Real-World Data in scientific research and healthcare, by introducing innovative solutions and responding to current technical and governance challenges. The project has made significant strides in the field of oncology by developing groundbreaking privacy-preserving machine learning techniques for predictive analytics. The project findings will be presented and discussed at the ATHENA symposium on November 23rd, 2023.
Even though endometriosis impacts millions of women globally, the condition remains poorly understood and researched, leading to delayed diagnosis and lack of effective treatment. Encouragingly, there are promising recent developments in the field coming from Belgium. Professor Hugo Vankelecom’s research group at KU Leuven uses advanced cellular models, known as organoids, to delve into the disease and expedite the drug discovery process. The Danish BioInnovation Institute now offers the team an incubation program to pave the way towards industrial success.
It’s been a Barbie world this summer with crowds of pink-clad moviegoers flooding the cinemas. Simultaneously, we’ve been witnessing a rush of ‘pink’ fundraising for women’s health start-ups. From pre-clinical to clinical: more companies are entering the field and developing solutions for women’s unique needs. But is their focus broad and innovative enough? And are pharma companies paying attention?
After a therapeutic drug hits the market, it is crucial to continuously gather, analyze, and report data regarding its safety and potential side effects, a practice known as pharmacovigilance. Unlike clinical trials, this involves real-world data (RWD), presenting unique challenges in terms of both quality and quantity. The Belgian BELpREG project seeks to employ RWD for monitoring drug utilization during pregnancy and investigating potential safety implications for both maternal and child health. This initiative holds great promise, although it faces substantial hurdles on its path to success.
The AIPLANT project aims to reduce complications from dental implant surgery using AI-based preoperative planning. The project is a collaboration between the Centre for Dentomaxillofacial Imaging at UZ Leuven, AI startup Relu, and Xentro Dental. 
Patient data is a treasure trove of information, vital to tailoring individual care pathways and generating profound insights to enhance healthcare more broadly. However, achieving interoperability among the diverse systems employed by various healthcare providers remains a critical challenge. Data standards like FHIR can help to streamline the secure exchange and seamless integration of healthcare data across these different systems. This article will take you through the FHIR framework and how it could be used by your organization.
This year, Science for health will explore the inspiring innovations at the interface of biology and technology. The event will bring together academics, industry leaders, and policymakers to explore the newest treatment platforms and factories of the future. BioVox spoke to Werner Verbiest, member of the event’s Scientific Committee, about the topic and why collaboration is so key right now.
Studies of a drug's effectiveness and safety don’t end with clinical trials – they extend beyond market access when the true value of a drug is demonstrated in a real-world setting. Based on this information, factors such as availability, pricing, and reimbursement are adjusted. To study the actual worth of a treatment, we require real-world data (RWD) from a large and diverse patient population. By actively sharing this information with stakeholders, we can fuel further research and innovation, and even help to inform decision-making on a population level. But in order to unlock the full potential of our patient data, all members of the ecosystem have to work together.
AstroCardia has developed a heart-on-a-chip to study cardiovascular aging… in space! Trials will begin in 2025 aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The MEDVIA project was made possible thanks to the combined expertise of the five Belgian partners: Space Applications Services, the Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK CEN), QbD Group, BIO INX, and Antleron.
Belgian Prof. Jan Rabaey has spent the past 35 years conducting pioneering tech research at the University of California at Berkeley. His groundbreaking electronics work has been used in a range of modern devices, including the iPad, brain-computer interfaces, and wireless sensor nodes used for the Internet of Things. The ongoing theme of his work has been miniaturization and connection, which he is now using to link technology and people like never before.
  • Fields of application

  • Focus on

  • Content type

  • Showcase

  • Regional News

ATHENA, a VLAIO-funded multi-stakeholder project, clears the path for increased reuse of Real-World Data in scientific research and healthcare, by introducing innovative solutions and responding to current technical and governance challenges. The project has made significant strides in the field of oncology by developing groundbreaking privacy-preserving machine learning techniques for predictive analytics. The project findings will be presented and discussed at the ATHENA symposium on November 23rd, 2023.
Even though endometriosis impacts millions of women globally, the condition remains poorly understood and researched, leading to delayed diagnosis and lack of effective treatment. Encouragingly, there are promising recent developments in the field coming from Belgium. Professor Hugo Vankelecom’s research group at KU Leuven uses advanced cellular models, known as organoids, to delve into the disease and expedite the drug discovery process. The Danish BioInnovation Institute now offers the team an incubation program to pave the way towards industrial success.
It’s been a Barbie world this summer with crowds of pink-clad moviegoers flooding the cinemas. Simultaneously, we’ve been witnessing a rush of ‘pink’ fundraising for women’s health start-ups. From pre-clinical to clinical: more companies are entering the field and developing solutions for women’s unique needs. But is their focus broad and innovative enough? And are pharma companies paying attention?
After a therapeutic drug hits the market, it is crucial to continuously gather, analyze, and report data regarding its safety and potential side effects, a practice known as pharmacovigilance. Unlike clinical trials, this involves real-world data (RWD), presenting unique challenges in terms of both quality and quantity. The Belgian BELpREG project seeks to employ RWD for monitoring drug utilization during pregnancy and investigating potential safety implications for both maternal and child health. This initiative holds great promise, although it faces substantial hurdles on its path to success.
The AIPLANT project aims to reduce complications from dental implant surgery using AI-based preoperative planning. The project is a collaboration between the Centre for Dentomaxillofacial Imaging at UZ Leuven, AI startup Relu, and Xentro Dental. 
Patient data is a treasure trove of information, vital to tailoring individual care pathways and generating profound insights to enhance healthcare more broadly. However, achieving interoperability among the diverse systems employed by various healthcare providers remains a critical challenge. Data standards like FHIR can help to streamline the secure exchange and seamless integration of healthcare data across these different systems. This article will take you through the FHIR framework and how it could be used by your organization.
This year, Science for health will explore the inspiring innovations at the interface of biology and technology. The event will bring together academics, industry leaders, and policymakers to explore the newest treatment platforms and factories of the future. BioVox spoke to Werner Verbiest, member of the event’s Scientific Committee, about the topic and why collaboration is so key right now.
Studies of a drug's effectiveness and safety don’t end with clinical trials – they extend beyond market access when the true value of a drug is demonstrated in a real-world setting. Based on this information, factors such as availability, pricing, and reimbursement are adjusted. To study the actual worth of a treatment, we require real-world data (RWD) from a large and diverse patient population. By actively sharing this information with stakeholders, we can fuel further research and innovation, and even help to inform decision-making on a population level. But in order to unlock the full potential of our patient data, all members of the ecosystem have to work together.
AstroCardia has developed a heart-on-a-chip to study cardiovascular aging… in space! Trials will begin in 2025 aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The MEDVIA project was made possible thanks to the combined expertise of the five Belgian partners: Space Applications Services, the Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK CEN), QbD Group, BIO INX, and Antleron.
Belgian Prof. Jan Rabaey has spent the past 35 years conducting pioneering tech research at the University of California at Berkeley. His groundbreaking electronics work has been used in a range of modern devices, including the iPad, brain-computer interfaces, and wireless sensor nodes used for the Internet of Things. The ongoing theme of his work has been miniaturization and connection, which he is now using to link technology and people like never before.