HES-SO Valais-Wallis will contribute to the world’s largest database of medical images

As part of the Horizon 2020 research program, the European project BIGPICTURE, to which the HES-SO Valais-Wallis is contributing, aims to build the world’s largest database of histopathological images.

Data collected by the BIGPICTURE project will be analyzed to train artificial intelligence software to assist physicians in their diagnoses.

The team of Prof. Henning Müller from the HES-SO Valais-Wallis has entered the European project BIGPICTURE. This project, which is part of the Horizon 2020 research program, consists of the largest pooling of histopathological images in the world. This voluminous data will be used to train artificial intelligence software to assist doctors in their diagnoses.

“It is the first time that an image database of this magnitude will be created. We are talking about several petabytes, i.e. several million gigabytes, which will be able to feed artificial intelligence and make it extremely efficient," explains Prof. Henning Müller of the Institute of Management Informatics (IGG) of the HES-SO Valais-Wallis. "The whole of European histopathology will be brought together in a single pioneering, federative and, above all, collaborative project. To my knowledge, this is still a unique approach in the world. "

With a budget of EUR 70 million and a 6-year duration, including EUR 350,000 for the team based in Sierre in the canton of Valais, the BIGPICTURE project will have a decisive impact on early cancer detection and treatment planning.

By creating the first European platform, which is ethical and compliant with GDPR regulations, BIGPICTURE's objective is to allow a rapid development of artificial intelligence in pathology by offering a significant storage capacity, while keeping the confidentiality of medical information.

The platform will also be developed in a sustainable and inclusive manner, connecting communities of pathologists, researchers, AI developers, patients and industry stakeholders.

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