The EUCAIM project joins 76 partners to deploy a pan-European digital federated infrastructure of FAIR cancer-related de-identified images from real-world data.
The infrastructure, called Cancer Image Europe, is designed to preserve the data sovereignty of providers, and provide a platform, including an Atlas of Cancer Images, for the development and benchmarking of AI tools towards Precision Medicine.
EUCAIM and the Cancer Image Europe platform targets clinicians, researchers, and innovators, providing the means to finally build up validated clinical decision-making systems supporting diagnosis, treatment, and predictive medicine to benefit citizens.
The project brings together clinical data providers, researchers, research infrastructures, and industry with mature solutions addressing the challenges of implementing such a cancer imaging infrastructure.
We will address the fragmentation of existing cancer image repositories by building on repositories of the AI4HI initiative, European research infrastructures and national/regional repositories and include clinical images, pathology, molecular and laboratory data. We will align with the European Health Data Spaces initiative toward a sustainable flagship repository of high-quality data and tools.
The EUCAIM project strategically organizes its endeavors into well-defined thematic work packages. By harnessing the unique skills and knowledge of various domain experts, we foster a collaborative environment that ensures comprehensive progress and seamless cooperation among all partners involved. Each work package focuses on specific challenges and objectives, creating a clear roadmap towards achieving our shared vision.
The primary objective of WP1 is to ensure the most effective overall legal, contractual, administrative, and financial management of the project by providing efficient decision-making and day-to-day management. This work package includes the coordination of project governance and ensures quality and timeliness of project progress and results, while addressing risk planning and management. WP1 will also carry out the communication and dissemination activities of EUCAIM.
WP2 is devoted to establish the relationship and to foster the enrolment of the different health data providers (such as hospitals) or existing repositories identified in the project. The main aim is to design and create a work plan that facilitates their participation and engagement. This action plan will be based on the design, training and support activities as well as compensation actions.
WP3 takes on the complex legal challenges, ranging from medical ethics to data protection and cybersecurity that EUCAIM will face during the course of the project. Specifically, WP3 takes a lead in developing an ELSI governance framework detailing ethical and legal aspects such AI ethics, data protection, means of storage, preservation, access rights and policy, and social aspects like appropriate stakeholder engagement.
As EUCAIM also covers data-intensive research that crosses the national borders, WP3 will also coordinate the compliance with the GDPR, particularly concerning legal bases, breach notification, rules on automated decision-making, right to access and to be forgotten.
The processing of personal data in the EUCAIM will ensure fairness, transparency, accountability and confidentiality to gain the credibility and trust of users and data providers.
WP4 focuses on the operation of the repository such as defining the framework for FAIR Medical Imaging data sharing, defining the operating and governing bodies in charge of the access, scientific guidance, technical support and service monitoring of EU-CAIM infrastructure; and leveraging the activities of liaison in WP2 and according to the legal ground defined in WP3. Other aims established in WP4 are to provide a comprehensive central data access portal that harvests the providers’ searchable metadata, integrating the developments of WP5 and WP6, to build a central infrastructure to host the core services for authentication, authorisation, traceability, and anonymised data for providers that do not host a local node, as well as the seamless integration of processing facilities supporting AI model development from WP6.
The work is distributed in five phases: the Design Phase, the Implementation of the core platform and technical evaluation phase, the internal production phase, the external production phase and the Operation phase.
The main objectives of WP5 are to specify the requirements, implement and apply tools for data pre-processing and interoperability; define and support both a minimum viable Data/Node Interoperability and Integration Framework, as well as a full Interoperability and Integration Framework.
WP5 also aims to define a Common Data Model and a hyper-ontology in support of data interoperability; specify the requirements for and implement the EUCAIM federated nodes and to integrate these nodes with the overall federated platform developed by WP6.
Lastly, WP5 will develop interoperability plugins for supporting the federation of all EUCAIM nodes to lower the deployment costs and enable the data and technical interoperability and federation of all nodes, including existing ERICs, and connect them with the Central Hub of WP4.
WP6 will deliver a Federated Analysis infrastructure for the project that will be largely based on existing software solutions already developed that had shown to be usable at the production level. Initial activities will analyse the available alternatives and prepare a precise inventory of such tools and components. The main work in WP6 will concentrate in the generation on the necessary compatibility elements to assure a seamless adaptation, and integration of such software solutions to the context of the project infrastructure. WP6 will also set the foundations for a technical sustainable infrastructure by defining procedures for the future integration of new analysis tools, and the extension of the infrastructure; define and incorporate the necessary components to enable trust and reinforce data privacy; and engage cloud/HPC infrastructures across Europe and define the necessary technical solutions to enrol them in the EUCAIM ecosystem.
This WP will bring together end-users such as hospitals, academic medical centres, image data providers and other AI innovators to work together on the identification of the use-cases that will drive the consensus-based definition and implementation of the procedures, protocols and services that aim to connect and integrate the different data sources and processing services to the Central Hub of WP4. The end users (Data Scientists, Clinicians, Biomedical Application Developers and any other interested researchers) will be involved from day one onward in WP7.
WP7 will also define the use cases to be used in the platform for central or federated approach, to solve research questions with a particular focus on AI or biostatistics, as well as demonstrate the usability and relevance of the EUCAIM platform for validation, comparison and benchmarking of tools for diagnosis, screening or precision medicine decisions.
Overall, this WP will formulate and analyse validation requirements, develop a plan for platform testing and collection of users’ feedback.
It is of paramount importance to ensure that EUCAIM can continue to function beyond the duration of the project. To this aim, besides the careful set-up of a business model to guarantee long-term and sustainable financing, further actions will be taken to define the legal-organizational and operational requirements.
The main objectives of WP8 are to select and fully define a business model for EUCAIM by the end of the project, together with a complete financial plan; to design and fully develop the long-term sustainability plan for EUCAIM, including selection of the suitable legal model and definition of the operational model as a base for the future activities (after the project) of the Operation Office; and to work on the Implementation of an IPR Office to follow up on the data usage, data ownership and recognition of providers.
EUCAIM is looking for your feedback! We have recently published a Stakeholder Survey in order to reach out to potential end-users and stakeholders. We believe that your insights could significantly contribute to understanding the expectations of potential users and identifying the essential aspects that stakeholders find crucial for future engagement and collaboration with the platform.
Therefore, we would like to invite you to participate in the Stakeholder Survey about the Cancer Image Europe platform.
Completing the survey will take approximately 10 minutes. Your participation is crucial to the success of this project, and we deeply appreciate your expertise in shaping the future of cancer imaging and treatment.