Limburg welcomes first ICAI Lab for the development of AI for patient care

Knowledge institutions from Limburg will join forces with local parties in healthcare and IT. The first ICAI Lab in the region – the ICAI Brightlands Smart Health Lab – is committed to making breakthroughs in patient care by developing and deploying artificial intelligence.

ICAI Brightlands Smart Health Lab

With the arrival of the ICAI Brightlands Smart Health Lab, Limburg joins the national network of ICAI Labs. In this new lab, researchers from Maastricht University and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences will collaborate with healthcare providers, the Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation, medical IT service provider ilionx, and several Brightlands campuses and organisations.

The activities of the new lab span the entire process from the development to the deployment of artificial intelligence in healthcare. Among other topics, the lab focuses on preparing medical data so that it can be used anonymously for ‘training’ artificial intelligence. Other key activities of the ICAI Brightlands Smart Health Lab include the development of artificial intelligence and putting the technology into practice. The lab specifically focuses on artificial intelligence that can predict how a patient’s disease will develop. In this way, the technology can help map out treatment plans for diseases like cancer.


Professor Andre Dekker, one of the lab’s academic directors alongside Dr. Rianne Fijten and Dr. Alberto Traverso, considers the collaboration between all parties as crucial for the success of their joint vision for the future. Dekker: “Bringing together knowledge and data from very diverse parties in the Brightlands ecosystem is precisely what allows us to conduct relevant research, develop real solutions and put these into practice.”

Responsibly connecting data

Dekker and his team bring their expertise in responsible sharing of privacy-sensitive medical data. The ICAI Brightlands Smart Health Lab thereby builds on their work on the Personal Health Train: a network that allows healthcare providers to learn from each other’s data, but in which data never leaves the host institution’s management and through which the privacy of patients is preserved.

Dr. Rianne Fijten: “Data is often an abstract concept for researchers, but it comes from real people. That is why careful handling of privacy-sensitive medical data is very important to us.”

Partners in the ICAI Brightlands Smart Health Lab

The ICAI Brightlands Smart Health Lab is a collaboration between Maastricht University, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Maastro Clinic, Maastricht UMC+, ilionx, Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation (IKNL), Brightlands Institute for Smart Society, Brightlands Smart Services Campus, Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus and AI Hub Brightlands.