Uniting Innovation and Collaboration: The Cancer Survivorship – AI for Well-being Cluster
In the ever-evolving world of eHealth, a dynamic cluster has emerged with a mission to foster collaboration and drive innovation: The “Cancer Survivorship – AI for Well-being” . Imagine a collective force of organisations united by a common purpose – to tackle crucial concerns such as well-being, patient support, mental health and depression. REBECCA, along with ten other EU-funded projects, is an integral component of this cluster, as we strive towards building a healthier Europe. Together, we embark on a transformative journey that embraces participatory research and the power of collective knowledge.
What is the CS_AIW about, how does it work and what role do we play there?
The CS_AIW cluster aims to enhance project outcomes at every stage, from concept to delivery. Key areas of focus encompass physician, patient, clinical, technical, business issues, and sustainable exploitation with a specific emphasis on well-being, quality of life, AI, clinical trials, ethics, mental health, and patient support. By collectively learning from one another’s experiences and knowledge, the cluster strives to develop effective remedies and strengthen outcomes across these critical domains.
The founder of the cluster is the FAITH Project. With the motto “We don’t work in silos”, FAITH initiated the CS_AIW by the end of 2020. The EU-funded research project aims to leverage AI applications by remotely identifying depression markers, enabling timely intervention and support for individuals in need. The cluster’s initial expansion included two projects: Menhir, dedicated to addressing anxiety and mild depression through research aimed at developing innovative tools for mental well-being management, and Oncorelief, committed to creating an AI system that seamlessly integrates quality-of-life assessment instruments, thereby enhancing patient care and outcomes. Within two years, the CS_AIW cluster has grown from three projects to eleven – with REBECCA joining in January 2022 and actively contributing in the Meeting of Minds 4 (MoM4) event held on February of the same year. Further projects joining the cluster are LifeChamp, Qualitop, Persist, Clarify, BD4QoL, CAPABLE and Ascape. Since then, the Cluster has received recognition from the European Commission, which acknowledges and supports its activities. With its core objective of merging clinical data with insights gathered from wearables, online behaviour, and registries, REBECCA seamlessly aligns with the CS_AIW cluster’s vision.
According to Tom Flynn (TFC Research and Innovation, Ireland) who founded the cluster through the FAITH project,
Presently, there are several ongoing activities in the cluster that can be categorised into four main pillars: Meetings of minds , Podcasts, Better Practices Guide for the Common Data Space (BPG), and a new Whitepaper.
The MoM events, as an integral part of the cluster, continue to be conducted regularly. These events serve as dedicated platforms within CS_AIW for knowledge sharing and exchanging diverse viewpoints regarding crucial aspects of individual projects and their progress. Up until now, there have been five MoM events, with MoM4 being a notable public event that took place in February 2022. This particular event involved the participation of both the European Commission and Patient Associations, demonstrating its significance and broader outreach.
Furthermore, the CS_AIW cluster is developing a Better Practice Guide (BPG) document that is the first step for the establishment of an interoperable component that supports the project platforms involved in the cluster and is delivered in line with the European Commission Directive for the European Interoperability Framework – Implementation Strategy and likewise much collective work is focused in the area of exploitation to help with bringing the individual project outcomes closer to market
So far, the CS_AIW has identified four key advantages resulting from its collaborative efforts: Increased user/patient engagement, best practices and enhanced communication of EU-funded research, long-term sustainability and increased adoption, and interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector innovation. The cluster is also addressing technological barriers from different dimensions – from hardware and devices to data collection and, privacy and interoperability. You can find more information on the collective lessons learned and the barriers that had to be overcome in the White Paper.
The underlying principle of the cluster’s success lies in the belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and REBECCA is surely contributing to their shared goals. By collectively searching for common solutions to shared problems and working as a united front, the CS_AIW cluster aims to achieve superior results. This collaborative spirit has fostered an environment of synergy, facilitating accelerated advancements and breakthroughs in eHealth. As the cluster continues to grow and evolve, it holds the promise of transforming the landscape of eHealth, bringing us closer to a future where advanced technologies, data-driven insights, and collaborative efforts pave the way for improved healthcare experiences and outcomes for all.