Flywheel, which provides a data management platform for research and collaboration, has received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This funding is intended to strengthen research on the neurodevelopmental health of poor and otherwise disadvantaged children in low- and middle-income countries (LIMC).
The multi-year grant will focus on providing a centralized, cloud-based research infrastructure for an international group of researchers led by King’s College London, according to the company. The team will use the platform to curate, share and analyze her MRI scans of infants aged 0-24 months at 25 of her LMICs in Africa and Asia.
The technology reportedly provides the ability to acquire data from numerous sources, automate research workflows, and enable secure sharing across research teams. The goal is to increase productivity and eliminate the IT burden traditionally associated with large multisite initiatives.
“We look forward to leveraging Flywheel to not only make data easily accessible to our neuroimaging partners around the world, but also to develop a shared analytical pipeline and maintain consistency and compatibility.‘ said Steven Williams, Professor of Neuroimaging Sciences at King’s College London and principal investigator of the project. “This project will ultimately build the knowledge and analytical capabilities of LMIC researchers, enabling them to further optimize neuro-focused interventions in their settings..”
Can Akgun, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Flywheel, said:Leveraging our comprehensive research data solutions, the team now focuses on better understanding pediatric brain development, rather than spending valuable time managing data and computational workflows. . We are confident that the results of this research will greatly contribute to improving the health of future generations..”
Hyperfine’s MRI scanners are used to acquire brain scans for this project, and have been supported by a grant from the Gates Foundation since 2021. The data generated so far will be migrated to the Flywheel platform where the research team will securely access and manage the data. Leverage existing algorithms and generate custom ones with help from the Flywheel team. It also establishes a direct connection between Hyperfine and Flywheel, providing immediate access to quality checks and automated data pre-processing on future new scans.
“Flywheel was founded to accelerate imaging research and collaboration around the world. This is perfectly aligned with the goals of this project.said Flywheel CEO Jim Olson. “We are pleased to support this important study in understanding brain development in people who grew up in poverty..”