August 2023: German representatives from the German-Canadian NephroCAGE consortium visited the Canadian provinces Ontario and Québec. The subject-matter experts attended research roundtables, the NephroCAGE consortium assembly meeting, the international NephroCAGE symposium and had the unique opportunity to present, discuss, and network with Canadian experts. In the following, you can find a brief summary of the visit and selected agenda points.
NephroCAGE in Toronto, Ontario, CA
The journey of the German represents of the NephroCAGE consortium starts in Toronto, in Canada’s Ontario province, where also the idea of the NephroCAGE project was born before the Coronavirus pandemic in 2019.
Mon Jul 31, 2023: Expert Workshops hosted by Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Toronto General Hospital Research Institute
After arriving over the weekend, a busy week lies ahead of the traveling NephroCAGE partners. At 8.30 am, first meetings with colleagues from Vector Institute for AI started in their Toronto downtown offices. The focus was on the mutual exchange around software architectures for federated learning, the use and protection of healthcare data, and opportunities to identify connecting points between existing projects.
Afterwards, the group was invited to the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. The focus was on the opening opportunities by deploying latest AI methods and clinical prediction models in clinical settings as well as the use of existing clinical data for further clinical prediction models.
These interactions marked the inception of a week filled with profound insights and transformative discussions, setting the stage for a comprehensive exploration of the convergence between AI and nephrology. After this quick stop in Toronto, ON, the team had to travel to Montréal, QC in the afternoon.
NephroCAGE in Montréal, Québec, CA
Tue Aug 1, 2023: NephroCAGE Consortium Assembly generously hosted by Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal
Members of all collaboration partners met for the annual consortium assembly in Montréal, QC. This internal meeting facilitated in-depth conversations and strategic planning, underpinning the project’s trajectory towards reshaping nephrology through AI-driven insights. Amongst others, it is used to report to each-other on individual project progress, approaching milestones and project decision, and align on a joint dissemination strategy. Furthermore, the team was invited to join a CHUM campus tour. Afterwards, common goals for the next steps in the project were discussed.
Wed Aug 2, 2023: 3rd International NephroCAGE Symposium generously hosted by McGill University Health Center Research Institute
The NephroCAGE consortium is presenting on international public events to share latest project results and findings on applying AI to support nephrologists in kidney transplant. In particular, this year it shared specific examples on how to enable transatlantic data exchange and the development of clinical prediction models as the foundation for AI-assisted transplant nephrology. Over the past years, the NephroCAGE symposium has established itself as an internationally respected forum enabling a unique exchange for experts from multiple disciplines, e.g., nephrologists, data science, computer science, and statistics. This year’s event was designed as a hybrid format, i.e., attendees in Montréal were invited to join in person whereas all other participants joined via video conferencing. The program consisted of tracks “Applying AI for Digital Health Process Optimization in Nephrology” and “Transatlantic Data Access Enabling High-quality Clinical Prediction Models”. For further details about the agenda and presentations, please refer to the event website of the 2023 International NephroCAGE Symposium. We were impressed about the overwhelming positive feedback. With more than 135 registered attendees, we saw increase by more than 50% compared the last year. We greatly thank all the speaker and attendees for their contributions making this event a great success.
In the afternoon, subject-matter experts from the NephroCAGE teams were working in dedicated workshops at MUHC to address technical, business, as well as regulatory topics. Through these hands-on sessions, participants explored the project’s advancements in-depth, further solidifying their commitment to enhancing nephrology through the integration of trans atlantic data.
Thu Aug 3, 2023: Deep-dive Workshops at CHUM
This day was scheduled for a series of focused one-on-one meetings and mutual deep-dive workshops. These personalized interactions encapsulated the essence of the NephroCAGE visit—a steadfast commitment to individualized progress and an affirmation of the potency of purposeful collaborations. In the afternoon, the return trip to Germany was on the agenda for most of the attendees.
As the curtain drew on the NephroCAGE Canada visit, its significance extended beyond a mere series of events. It transformed into an immersive journey that showcased the power of AI in transplant nephrology. Through engagements with Toronto’s innovation hubs, intensive consortium meetings, a visionary symposium with global participation, and bespoke interactions, the NephroCAGE project emerged as a trailblazer, shaping the future of nephrology for transplant recipients and beyond. Departing from Montréal, the team carried with them a legacy of insights, connections, and a collective determination to reshape the landscape of nephrology for the better. We would like to thank all the generous hosts for their kind support!
The NephroCAGE consortium
The German-Canadian NephroCAGE consortium stands for an embodiment of medical and scientific-technical collaboration across continents. This partnership harnesses expertise from Germany and Canada to forge the NephroCAGE federated learning infrastructure – an innovative platform for privacy-preserving training of clinical prediction models. Drawing upon a decade’s worth of German and Canadian transplant data, these models are infused with cutting-edge artificial intelligence algorithms. The seamless integration of these datasets reflects the consortium’s commitment to improving nephrology outcomes. Together with clinical experts, NephroCAGE’s clinical prediction models are poised to empower nephrologists, facilitating early identification of high-risk patients after kidney transplantation.