Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, NeuroTech clinical research platform


CHUV is the university hospital of Canton de Vaud, Switzerland, with a budget of 1.5 billions CHF, whose main strategic axis include clinical neurosciences. The department of clinical neurosciences (DNC) has 500 staff working in five main clinical units (neurology, neurosurgery, neurorehabilitation, spinal surgery, memory center) and a translational neuroscience research center. It covers all aspects of clinical neuroscience, including epilepsy. Its current chair (P. Ryvlin), who has a long track record in epilepsy surgery and intracerebral EEG (iEEG) recording, took his position in 2015 and has since developed an iEEG facility which will start operating in 2017. The DNC was one of the four original organisations leading the Human Brain Project (HBP), and currently coordinate the medical platform of HBP. The DNC also runs the IT platform developed for the E-PILEPSY project, a EU-funded consortium of epilepsy surgery centers which was recently embedded into one of the first labeled European Reference Network (ERN), EpiCare, dedicated to rare and complex epilepsies. The E-PILEPSY work package, chaired by P. Ryvlin, focuses on epilepsy surgery. More recently, the DNC has developed a unique clinical research facility, NeuroTech, dedicated to the evaluation of novel technologies, and in particular mobile health (mhealth) technologies, in clinical neurosciences. NeuroTech offers an IT infrastructure covering all aspects of mhealth data handling and processing, and currently runs several seizure detection research projects using connected devices, such as those provided by Empatica and various EPFL laboratories.

Role in the proposal

The NeuroTech platform will participate in the operationalization of the example applications for the bio-medical
domain within the CHUV ecosystem in WP1. CHUV is also leader of Task 3.4 on Application Characterization

Key personnel

Prof Philippe Ryvlin is the Head of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Director of NeuroTech, Full Professor of Neurology, and has authored over 230 publications in peer-reviewed academic journals, including over 100 as first author. He is coordinator and co-founder of the European Network for Epilepsy Research (ENER), President/Founder since 2011 of the European Epilepsy Monitoring units Association (EEMA), co-Chair since 2014 of the Joint Task Force (JTF) of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE), and Director of the Epilepsy Institute IDEE (Institut DES EpilepsiEs) in Lyon, France. Prof. Ryvlin’s research interests are focused on efforts aiming the advancement of the detection methodology of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). In this context, he currently coordinates several EU projects on epilepsy, including a prospective cohort of patients undergoing video-EEG monitoring (more than 1500 patients so far), the EU-funded pilot network of reference centres in refractory epilepsy and epilepsy surgery (E-PILEPSY), randomized studies looking at the impact of various drugs, and neuroimaging studies. Since 2015, Prof. Ryvlin collaborates closely with EPFL, and private engineering companies, in order to establish progress in the development of seizure detection devices that would ultimately allow preventing SUDEP. He holds a Swiss national grant together with the ESL laboratory which allows developing and testing innovative seizures detection devices, and most recently he has organized the first international congress on mobile health devices and seizure detection in epilepsy.

Dr Ilona Wisniewski has worked as a neuropsychologist before undertaking an MBA training in Innovative Project Engineering. Following that training, she was hired as Chief Research Officer at NeuroTech, where she organised and supervised all clinical research activities dealing with wearable devices. She has gained significant experience in developing such projects in the field of seizure detection, including the use of the Empatica device.

Dr Carolina Ciumas has performed her PhD in Stockholm using neuroimaging technologies (PET, MRI) in epilepsy following her medical and neurological training in Moldavia. She then joined the team of P. Ryvlin in Lyon and became his primary scientific collaborator in the same field. She has successfully ran an Era-Net Neuron EU-funded project based on concomitant fMRI and iEEG recordings in patients with epilepsy. Since her recruitment at CHUV, Carolina Ciumas is responsible for the development and maintenance of the E-PILEPSY IT platform and for developing original seizure detection programs at NeuroTech.