REBECCA project to be featured at the EHMA 2021 Annual Conference
On Thursday, 16 September 2021, the REBECCA project will be featured at the EHMA 2021 Annual Conference. The conference is organised by the European Health Management Association (EHMA), one of the REBECCA project partners, and is the preeminent European conference on health management. It brings together researchers, academia, health managers, policy and decision-makers to exchange knowledge on innovative practices and excellent delivery of healthcare to ensure the health and well-being of Europe’s citizens and communities.
Dr Ioannis Sarafis, a postdoctoral researcher at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – the REBECCA project leader, will represent REBECCA with an EHMA PIE presentation entitled Moving beyond RCTs: Tapping the potential of Real-World Data for advancing clinical research and improving post-treatment in breast cancer. EHMA PIE is a new initiative being launched this year for the EHMA Annual Conference, designed to give space to discussions that are Provocative, Innovative and Encouraging (PIE) and help shape the future of health management.
While Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) are currently the golden standard when exploring the underlying causal disease mechanisms and assessing the effectiveness of therapies, they present several limitations when studying complex chronic conditions (CCC) such as cancer. In fact, researchers cannot control the progression of comorbid conditions, nor the behaviour and compliance of participating patients. Moreover, the time and resources needed for large-scale RCTs are significant, thus often resulting in small samples and inclusion of only a subset of the relevant variables. This leaves a gap between RCTs and clinical practice for managing CCCs, which could be closed if patients were monitored in their real-life conditions.
The presentation will thus highlight the innovative idea of the REBECCA project, namely using Real-World Data (RWD) to support clinical research and improve existing clinical workflows by combining clinical data with data describing patients’ real-life behaviour including their physical activity, eating habits, sleep, and online interaction.