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PERSIST combines AI and Big Data to improve cancer survivors’ care

Investing more than 5 million euros, PERSIST project starts with the first meeting of the consortium in Gradiant’s headquarters

This H2020 project will focus on creating an innovative platform to improve care for cancer survivors

More than 40 experts from Europe and Turkey meet in Vigo to create an ecosystem that will allow the remote and personalized monitoring of each patient

Leader of the international research combining artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data technologies for European healthcare sector, Gradiant hosts the kick of meeting of the PERSIST project this week. The meeting, where 40 experts from Europe and Turkey are taking part in, is stablishing key research goals to learn about the problems patients who survive breast and colorectal cancer usually face up to.

Within PERSIST partners from Spain, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Latvia, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium and Turkey work together for developing an innovative platform to support medical decision-making and improve care for cancer survivors. This project is funded by the European Union with more than 5 million euros under the Horizon 2020 programme.

“PERSIST is a very ambitious project. We are pursuing a radical breakthrough in the quality of treatment and follow-up of cancer survivors. We will not only develop innovative applications based on artificial intelligence and big data, but we will demonstrate their effectiveness in improving the quality of life of these patients. In this regard, our approach is fully patient-centric while taking into account all the necessary elements of the healthcare ecosystem, in order to ensure a rapid uptake of the results in the European context”, explains Luis Pérez-Freire, executive director at Gradiant, the Spanish RTO leading the PERSIST project.

AI and Big Data for healthcare improvement

The main challenge of PERSIST is to improve the quality of life of breast and colorectal cancer survivors. Using artificial intelligence and Big Data technologies, experts will develop an innovative ecosystem to support the decision-making of physicians contributing to optimal treatment decisions.

The complete PERSIST system will incorporate a clinical decision support system based on new models of health data analysis; and a mHealth system for remote and personalized monitoring of each patient. In addition, the partners will develop a Big Data platform that integrates the two previous systems and will be connected to the clinical history systems of any hospital.

The initiative includes a transnational pilot with more than 150 patients and 32 health professionals from 4 different countries, which will be decisive to establish a co-creation methodology that will cover the initial phases of the project until its conclusion.

Approved in the Big data and Artificial Intelligence for monitoring health status and quality of life after the cancer treatment call (SC1-DTH-01-2019), PERSIST starts now and will end in February 2023. The consortium is formed by: Gradiant (coordinator), SERGAS and DXC Technologies (Spain); Univerza Mariboru and Univerzitetni Klinicni Center Maribor (Slovenia); Haute Ecole Specialisée De Suisse (Switzerland); Latvijas Universitate (Latvia); Cyberethics Lab (Italy); Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège (Belgium); Symptoma (Austria); Rubynanomed (Portugal); National Patients’ Organization (Bulgaria); and Emoda (Turkey).

The Road Ahead

All partners came together at the Kick-off Meeting, in order to turn this ambitious project into reality. They all shared their knowledge, experience and plans for the future development of the project. The meeting began with an introduction to the Project PERSIST and active participation from the side of all present stakeholders. The consortium meeting then continued with specific and aspect-oriented presentations and debates. All partners clearly showed their designated role in the project and in what way they can best contribute to it.

The variety of experts gathered at the Kick-off Meeting can be perceived as great contribution to all aspects of PERSIST and can add value to the project itself. During the first year, the project will be mainly focused on data gathering, analysis and research. Therefore, ideas and suggestions were actively exchanged throughout the whole consortium meeting. It was made clear that every little detail of the project will be analysed, in order to reach maximum efficiency and be as productive as possible for the benefit of the cancer survivor patients and clinicians.

At the closing day of the Kick-off Meeting, all partners on the project parted with clear vision, mission and determination about the future of the project PERSIST. In today’s digital world, the patients are going to rely more and more on digital solutions, in order to overcome the difficulties connected with their treatment. However, the free access to Internet and data poses challenges, which is why our common initiative comes in the right moment, as it provides safe and secure information, coordinated by patients, clinicians and experts.

*This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 875406

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