April 4, 2019

Turning data into better care

Introducing the new Data Science Section


The ESICM Council has formally approved the Executive Committee proposal to create a new scientific section for Data Science at its meeting held in Brussels on 18 March 2019. The goals of the ESICM Data Science section will be to promote techniques and technology to improve outcomes by turning data into better care.

Data-driven medicine is expected to become and remain an important mechanism for improving patient care and outcomes. The impressive attendance at our Tech Lounge at LIVES and at the recent ESICM-supported Critical Care Datathon/Big Datatalk in Milan have demonstrated a huge enthusiasm amongst both clinicians and data scientists to get involved.

The Data Science Section will be an independent scientific section, and will also incorporate the former TAHI Working Group.

This initiative is particularly timely given the global interest in data science, the rapid pace of development in novel data science techniques and the ever-increasing availability of healthcare data due to the widespread adoption of electronic health records, particularly in intensive care medicine.

Indeed, intensive care involves some of the most data-dense records in medicine, and clinicians rely more than anywhere else on data to make complex, life-changing decisions in a time critical way.

From visualisation and new analytical techniques through to diagnostic support through artificial intelligence, suddenly state-of-the-art technology from this data revolution offers the possibility of finding new ways to improve patient care.


The Section aims to promote data-driven research and inspire clinicians into data science.

The Society has outlined a number of goals aligned with the current needs and opportunities for the ICU community, including:

  1. Provide education for clinicians interested in developing or appraising new technology.
  2. Promote research into clinical applications of data-driven healthcare, encouraging translation of novel computing and artificial intelligence techniques.
  3. Drive data-sharing across Europe in a legal, ethical and publicly-acceptable way.
  4. Promote standard setting (e.g. for Electronic Medical Records) and benchmarking, as well as ensuring technology is aligned to the needs of patients and clinicians.
  5. Create a collaborative framework, facilitating the collaboration of ICU professionals, data scientists, engineers, legal and ethical experts, as well as engaging industry partners for patient benefit.


You can Help!

If you are an ESICM member interested in data science, including electronic health records, information technology, big data analysis or machine learning, you may be interested in joining the Data Science Section.
You can do this by selecting the Data Science as a section of interest/voting section in your member info, by logging into your membership profile here.

The Data Science Section aims to have at least one intensivist per intensive care unit in Europe as a contact person. The Data Science Section will primarily invite these contact persons to participate in important matters related to electronic health care use and data sharing.

If you would like to be the contact person for your ICU, please contact the Section Chair, Ari Ercole, or Deputy Chair, Paul Elbers, directly.



Chair: Dr. Ari Ercole, Consultant Neurosciences Critical Care Unit, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Deputy Chair: Dr. Paul Elbers, Amsterdam UMC, Location VUmc, The Netherlands

For more information about the ESICM-supported Critical Care Datathon & Big Data Talk


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