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ADDI is a new global effort that aims to advance AD innovation by connecting researchers with the data needed to generate insights and inform the development of improved treatments and diagnostic tools. The AD Workbench is a cloud-based platform for scientists to accelerate discoveries and innovations for AD and related dementias.

ADDI was created by a coalition of partners – including DPUK – to increase sharing of dementia-related data among researchers and provide new ways to experiment with the most trusted datasets. 

For decades, scientists have made limited progress in Alzheimer's research and therapeutics, even though Alzheimer’s is a leading cause of death around the world, with care estimated to cost more than $1 trillion annually. Now more than ever, greater data sharing is needed to spark innovative discoveries in AD research. Advancement is possible – limited access to data should not be a barrier.

The idea for ADDI was initiated in 2018, after Bill Gates brought together a coalition of partners interested in improving AD and related dementias data sharing with the aim of moving innovation further and faster towards better treatments and diagnostic tools.

Bill Gates said: 'The need for new and more effective treatments for Alzheimer's disease has never been greater. A better understanding of the disease will help us detect and diagnose it earlier. It should be easier for people to find, enroll and stay in clinical trials, and we must accelerate the pace of discovery and innovation.

'Data can play a critical role in breakthroughs. Data is a tremendously powerful tool that can be better harnessed to understand and reduce the impact of AD. It’s what the AD Workbench is designed to do.'

The AD Workbench will facilitate interoperability across data platforms and enable researchers to work with multiple datasets. With a federated model of data sharing, the AD Workbench allows permitted researchers to import their datasets, access, and transfer data from other platforms. It also allows them to work securely with anonymised datasets that are unable to be transferred due to data privacy, regulation and local laws. Within the platform, users have a personalised workspace where they can ensure quality control, harmonise data and analyse data within the platform. Soon the AD Workbench will provide researchers and data scientists with the ability to share code and crowdsource ideas.

'There are no limits to the innovation that can arise from researchers working together with more data than ever before,' said ADDI Executive Director Tetsu Maruyama. 'That’s what makes the Workbench so exciting – and it’s just the beginning. The Workbench will continue to evolve with input and data from the research community, allowing scientists to work with new tools and more data.' 

Professor John Gallacher, Director of DPUK, said: 'DPUK is delighted to be a founding partner in ADDI, as part of our mission to support global access to dementia-related research data.'

Visit the ADDI website at alzheimersdata.org.

Read Bill Gates' blog post: 'Data could hold the key to stopping Alzheimer's'