Interoperability Working Group (WG1)

In the ADDI's pilot phase, the partners established three data working groups (WGs), one for each goal. The Interoperability Working Group (WG1) is comprised of three leading AD platforms: C-Path's Critical Path for Alzheimer's Disease (CPAD), Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), and the Global Alzheimer's Association Interactive Network (GAAIN).

Alzheimer's Disease Work Bench (ADWB) Platform Interoperability Pilot Phase

In the pilot phase, the data-platform partners in WG1 collaborated with Aridhia Informatics (selected through a competitive RFP process) to evaluate the ADWB's data interoperability, usability, technological innovation, and architecture.

Pilot Phase Outcomes

At the end of the yearlong pilot phase in February 2020, WG1 and its partners convened in Miami. There, they summarized their work so far and demonstrated the interoperability solutions they developed.

Using the ADWB:

Can run a federated query on pre-harmonized and standardized data across multiple platforms.

Can run a federated analysis on data across multiple platforms, even when data is behind firewalls.

Can make harmonized data interoperable for other users.   

Can discover, explore, harmonize, standardize and visualize data.

Can use data across multiple platforms.

Can find, access, and use harmonized interoperable data.

Can run a federated analysis on data across multiple platforms.

Can touch multiple platforms and analyze data at the source.

Can touch multiple platforms and analyze data a the source.

At the end of the Miami meeting, an anonymous poll showed unanimous agreement that the pilot phase had demonstrated the ADWB’s interoperability across platforms.

Scale-Up Phase: Proposed ADWB Interoperability Architecture (2020–2022)

Using what WG1 learned in the pilot phase, ADDI is scaling up the ADWB, increasing access to more platforms, more datasets, and more users.

In 2017, Bill Gates identified five main barriers to success in AD research:

  1. Researchers do not yet have a good understanding of what AD does and how it progresses.
  2. Patients and health care providers do not have access to high-quality tools for the early diagnosis of AD.
  3. There is too little mechanistic diversity in the AD therapeutic pipeline.
  4. AD clinical-trial recruitment processes are expensive and inefficient.
  5. AD researchers have no easy way to share unpublished data, analytical tools, and findings.

To solve this last problem, in 2018 a coalition of ten organizations and industry representatives formed the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (ADDI). ADDI aims to connect researchers with the data they need to accelerate the development of new and more effective treatments for AD and related dementias.

A key component of the ADDI is the Alzheimer’s Disease Workbench (ADWB), a platform that enables AD researchers around the world to share data, resources, and tools. It is open, inclusive, global, and easy to use.

For now, the ADDI has three main goals:

  1. To increase interoperability of existing data platforms.
  2. To increase sharing of dementia-related data from academic and industry sources.
  3. To empower scientists to find, search, combine, and analyze data that could lead to new discoveries in dementia research.