GÉANT and DECIDE
Improving quality of life for people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 35 million people currently suffer from forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, a number expected to double in the next 20 years. With no current cure, earlier diagnosis is critical to improving patient care. Spotting diagnostic markers for the disease requires high-speed access to medical databases and intense processing power in order to compare patient imaging data, which is beyond the computing resources of individual hospitals.
The Diagnostic Enhancement of Confidence by an International Distributed Environment (DECIDE) project aims to solve this issue, by creating a simple, secure and easy-to-use diagnostic tool, accessible by any doctor. It achieves this by bringing together the power of research networks such as GÉANT, distributed databases, grid computing and powerful diagnostic algorithms. The combination of which means that hospitals do not need to invest in any additional computing resources.
Doctors simply log onto DECIDE from any networked PC, upload their patient’s biomedical images and let DECIDE handle the processing, comparing the images with vast reference databases and quickly returning the results to aid faster diagnosis, and consequently better patient care.
“The diagnosis of neurologic diseases such as Alzheimer's makes increasing use of neuroimaging markers of disease. Such markers need to be objectively extracted from images by mathematical comparison to large image datasets of normal persons. This task requires dedicated resources and expertise. DECIDE will allow clinicians to extract disease markers by leveraging distributed computing resources and the power of the GÉANT network, thus contributing to a radical change of the clinical approach of physicians towards these socially burdensome diseases.”
Giovanni Frisoni, DECIDE Scientific Coordinator