VUB and UZ Brussel use AI for tumour analysis

VUB and UZ Brussel use AI for tumour analysis

Digital health research platform collates data while protecting the patient’s privacy

In the margin of the TumorScope project, a team of researchers headed by prof. Wim Vranken is currently developing a digital health research platform for VUB and UZ Brussel. With this platform, data can be used for research without violating the patient’s privacy and rights. During the initial phase of the project, the emphasis is on fine-tuning the diagnosis and treatment of tumours of the breast, brain, soft tissue and bone.

The new computer systems in hospitals store large amounts of patient data, about the treatment that they are undergoing or the scans that were made for example. New technology, however, also facilitates the rapid gathering of molecular data about individual patients, such as their genetic information. All these data are strictly private, as they should be. However, as a result, extremely valuable data cannot be used for research.

“A platform to perform analyses without releasing sensitive information enables extensive research using AI, without compromising the patient’s privacy. Studies have shown that this can help physicians to better understand diseases so that they have all the information available to choose the best treatment for the patient”, says Professor Wim Vranken.

TumorScope has brought together an interdisciplinary team of physicians, legal experts and research experts in AI, medical IT, image analysis, and molecular analysis. The project was launched in November 2019. The first PhD student is already linking the image analysis to other types of information.



Professor Wim Vranken

Artificial Intelligence Research Group

Tel: + 32 (0)488 11 37 27


AI for the common good

The VUB and the ULB want to jointly found a European artificial intelligence (AI) centre for the common good. The AI centre will focus on research, innovative applications, education and projects on the social impact of artificial intelligence in fields such as health and welfare, mobility, climate and sustainability, and media. The centre’s first component already exists: the AI Experience Center offers a high-tech testing, demonstration and meeting environment.

Through the AI Institute, the VUB and the ULB want to offer support and contribute to achieving the EU Digital Agenda. Both these Brussels-based universities will also call on their respective European university alliances, i.e., EUTOPIA and CIVIS, for this. The two universities have an eminent reputation in the world of AI thanks to their pioneering role in AI research, their strong, interdisciplinary tradition, their central location in Belgium and Europe and their close ties with global economic players.


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