The CAMH-wide BrainHealth Databank initiative aims to accelerate research and improve care by collecting and studying data that individuals choose to share. This transformative initiative is the first of its kind in mental health care in Canada.
The BrainHealth Databank will become a repository of many types and sources of data—such as sleep and physical activity records from smartwatches, blood samples and brain images from labs, and assessments from health care visits—to help us better understand and diagnose mental illness, and find new treatments and prevention strategies.
Across CAMH, research is revolutionizing our understanding of the brain as we uncover the underlying causes and biological markers for mental illness. Convergence—bringing together all the available information about individuals and their mental health journeys—is the key to igniting discovery and answering our most difficult questions about mental illness. For example, an estimated one in three people have hard-to-treat depression, and the BrainHealth Databank will improve our understanding of both individuals and broader populations so that we can accelerate personalized care.
To help achieve the BrainHealth Databank’s goal of advancing data-driven mental health care with a strong commitment to privacy and ethical conduct, this initiative partners with a team of experts from CAMH and the broader mental health care system. We work collaboratively with clinicians, researchers, patients and families, and seek expertise from privacy and research ethics officers and data engineers.
The BrainHealth Databank is already enhancing patient care at CAMH by supporting care delivery through digital technology, including virtual assessments during the pandemic. In the long term, this rich resource will advance the work of scientists at CAMH and around the world to accelerate mental health research and care.
This transformative BrainHealth Databank initiative is a priority of CAMH’s overarching strategic plan, One CAMH, and supports the work of the Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics at CAMH. The BrainHealth Databank is funded by the CAMH Discovery Fund.