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Meeting of Minds 4. The event of the “Cancer Survivorship – AI for Well-being” Cluster took place last week

The online Meeting of Minds 4 took place on February 23 and 24, organized by the “Cancer Survivorship – AI for Well-being” Cluster of which project PERSIST is a part.

The meeting gathered over 100 participants – patients, researchers, clinicians and caregivers – around the question “How can new technologies better support patients?“. The event aimed at engaging patients and gathering important feedback from end-users. They were given the opportunity to share their insight and contribute to design better tools based on their needs as cancer patients and survivors. The Cluster members presented their projects with an overview of their work, the scope of their research and how they apply new technology in their solution designs.

Ten EU funded projects were presented during the event:

  • MENHIR – working on mental health monitoring through interactive conversations;
  • LIFECHAMPS – focused on integrated cancer care for the older cancer champions based on Big-Data and quality of life behavior;
  • ONCORELIEF – working to improve the quality of life and developing mobile applications for patients and for clinicians;
  • FAITH – addressing post-treatment consequences of anxiety and depression through Artificial Intelligence based technologies;
  • PERSIST – developing BIG Data platform, mHealth application and multimodal sensing network to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors;
  • QUALITOP – monitoring multidimensional aspects of quality of life after cancer Immuno Thepary and developing an Open smart digital platform for prevention and patient panagement;
  • CLARIFY – developing actionable knowledge for improving cancer long survivors’ quality of life;
  • ASCAPE – working on an AI-powered framework, clinical testing and patient engagement;
  • REBECCA – developing a patient mobile application and a web browser plugin to improve intervention of care choices and analyze data to better understand how treatment affects quality of life;
  • CAPABLE – aiming to develop a support system for improving the quality of life of cancer home patients by combining technologies with socio-psychological models and theories.

Barbara Kerstiens from the European Commission presented the EU Mission on Cancer. She stressed on the four mission objectives: 1. Understanding cancer, 2. Prevention and early detection, 3. Diagnosis and treatment, 4. Quality of life and emphasized the importance of the patient-centric approach in the process of designing the EU policy on cancer.

The psycho-oncological nurse Gerd Murphy made an overview of the mental wellbeing challenges for cancer patients and survivors and the need for more comprehensive and unified approach in addressing these across Europe.

The topic of patient engagement in clinical trials was highlighted by Kathi Apostolidis, a Board Member of the European Cancer Patient Coalition. She underlined the importance of engaging patient associations in this process and involving patients in all stages of the trials’ preparation, design and implementation.

One of the most exciting parts of the event was the roundtable discussion with cancer patients, who were invited to provide their insights on series of questions, related to trust in new technologies, patients’ participation in studies, data sharing and patients’ motivation to participate in the design of research of innovative digital health solutions.  “It is important that the co-creation starts at the beginning of the project – in the development stage and also when going to the market. The projects have to know what the stakeholders are looking for, otherwise it is just a research project” said Gary McManus, Research project manager at the Walton Institute.

Project PERSIST was presented by its coordinator Victoria Cal. Gazihan Alankus from EMODA made a demonstration of the patients’ mHealth app of PERSIST.

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