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Closing conference for project PERSIST in Madrid: We persist! The future is in our hands.

Under this slogan the PERSIST consortium held the closing conference for project PERSIST in Madrid on February 15th, 2023. The event took place in the headquarters of the European Commission Representation in Spain and was opened by Mr. Ioannis Virvilis, Head of Press of the European Commission Representation in Spain.

The main merits of PERSIST, including its overall approach and care model, the clinical outcomes and the exploitation opportunities were presented by Alberto Sánchez, project coordinator form Gradiant, Dina Bema, PERSIST clinical leader from the University of Latvia and Iñaki Galera, leader of PERSIST exploitation strategy from Dedalus.

The special highlight of the event was the participation of cancer survivors, who had taken part in the clinical study in the University of Lativa and in Chu de Liege. They talked about their perspective – what the participation in PERSIST brought to them, what were the advantages and challenges of being a clinical study participant. Consortium partners and event guests were able to hear from the patients their concrete needs and recommendations for technology solutions in cancer survivorship care.

During the roundtable discussion, moderated by Anna Lyubenova from the National Patients’ Organization, distinguished professionals in healthcare technology were able to present their views on cancer survivor empowerment, the importance of patient-centred design and co creation, as well as on the role of innovation and Artificial Intelligence in changing healthcare processes.

Helena Fernandez, Visiting Professor from the University of Minho, Portugal stated the following: „One of the things that technology can help is to improve communication between patients and caregivers. The other thing is to empower the patient – we can educate patients using technology. Another direction where technology helps a lot is the coordination of all the actions – primary care, specialists, social worker, so many people working around the patient, and in this coordination, I think, the technology can help a lot.

In projects like PERSIST we should learn both aspects. First, if with the technology we have been able to improve the follow up of participants, the quality of life, without annoying the participants, and also – we need to extract the experience, the features that the future work should address.”, said Laura López Pérez, PostDoc researcher at the Life Supporting Technologies group of the Polytechnical University of Madrid

Gaetano Manzo, PostDoc Research Fellow at the National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, USA, shared the following impression from his work in PERSIST: (In PERSIST) we managed to deliver really a quality product that I am proud with. There are many lessons that we can learn from this project, but I think we really need to listen to the patients – it’s the main take away here. One possible thing is to improve is the user experience.”

The role of patients is extremely important – we are working for them, and we are putting our knowledge, technology and knowhow, and collaboration abilities at their service. So, their role is main. It is very important that we make them aware of this technology”, said Sara Abalde-Cela, Chief technology officer of RUBYnanomed

In his closing keynote speech Mr. Marcis, Leja, Director of the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine at the University of Lativa, featured PERSIST’s added value for clinical practice from the perspective of the European Commission Cancer Beating Plan.

The full video from the closing event can be watched here:

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