Hector Leitch’s takeaways from the annual conference
Last month we headed to the RAI Conference Centre in Amsterdam for three days of learning, networking and inspiration with like-minded programmers, data analysts and real-world evidence people.
The PHUSE EU connect conference is always a great place to catch up with clients, contractors and old friends in the industry, to see some familiar ex-Veramed faces and of course to meet new people. The host city, Amsterdam, was a little wetter than we’d hoped (despite the lovely bright picture on the right!) but that didn’t detract from its beautiful cobbled streets and unique charm. The conference venue itself was well laid out and we were lucky enough to have the Veramed stand set up in a perfect position for lots of great discussions during the breaks. It seems our Scrabble game is becoming a bit of a talking point, so we had lots of people seeking us out to play.
Posters and Presentations
The conference kicked off with the poster session with lots of thought-provoking posters on programming tricks, PK, CDISC uses and big data; Our Programming Manager, Clare Newall presented a poster entitled ‘Programming the world of PK’. She received lots of interesting questions and looked like she had great fun sharing her knowledge of PK with people.
I attended several presentations during the conference, my favourite was ‘ML02 Sub-population Detection Using Graph-based Machine Learning’. It had some fascinating algorithms based on graphs/networks that were extremely easy to understand visually and resulted in some impressive visualisations that made you think “wow, there’s a very obvious pattern”.
There was a general impression in the presentations I attended that programmers are keen to start using R and Python for machine learning and R Shiny for more interactive reporting and data visualisation. It will be interesting to see how this develops in the future.
Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed my fellow Veramed Progammer Anisa Jeetoo’s presentation, ‘Don’t cha wish your tracker was clean like mine?’ Her session was very well attended, if you missed out you can find a copy of her slides here, she will also be writing a blog on the subject soon too, which you’ll be able to find on our website.
I also managed to catch two other great sessions on the CDISC library. “Implementing the CDISC Library API in Software Applications: First Experiences” by Jozef Aerts and “How Will You Use CDISC Library?” by Sally Cassells. It was exciting to know that you can get an open source account and use the library completely free. It seems that CDISC is encouraging open source, which is fantastic!
Diana’s 10 year anniversary
This year was the 10-year anniversary of our Programming Manager, Diana Stuart’s involvement with PHUSE. She began her journey at the Basel conference where she presented a poster and subsequently, thanks to some encouragement from directors John Salter and Adie Bonwick, took on the role of Newsletter Editor. At this year’s Diana co-chaired the new Profession Development stream. This stream included a hands-on workshop and 4 half hour presentations. All of which were incredibly well attended and well received.
Thanks and see you next year!
Special thanks to everyone at PHUSE; Michael Harris for chairing, fellow presenters, poster authors and exhibitors, I came away from the conference a little exhausted but with bags of enthusiasm and new ideas.