Trinity to lead €4 million H2020 ‘SEURO’ Project in digital health technology
Posted on: 17 February 2021
The project will advance research into the use of digital health technologies for chronic disease self-management and builds on a previously awarded H2020 project.
Researchers at the Trinity Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation (TCPHI, School of Nursing and Midwifery) have successfully secured an award of €4 million under the European Commission’s H2020 programme to advance research into the use of digital health technology to support older adults self-managing with multiple chronic health conditions (Wednesday, 17th February 2021).The new project ‘SEURO’ (Scaling EUROpean citizen driven transferable and transformative digital health) aims to advance the previously implemented H2020 digital health platform ‘ProACT’ (Integrated Technology Systems for ProACTive Patient Centred). It will begin in May 2021 and run for three years.
The ProACT platform was developed to empower individuals over 65 living at home with chronic diseases/multimorbidity to better understand and independently manage their health and well-being. The platform, which was successfully developed and implemented at a ‘proof of concept level’ under a previous H2020 project, was also led by Trinity College at TCPHI.
SEURO will evaluate the ProACT platform via large scale pragmatic randomised controlled trials in Ireland, Belgium and Sweden. The trials will also seek to develop and evaluate three new digital self-assessment and recommendation tools to support healthcare organisations and services in preparing, adopting and transferring digital health solutions into practice.
The tools will:
1) Examine the digital maturity or readiness of organisations/services to transfer in a digital solution.
2) Maximise the likelihood of positive behaviour change with users to adopt a digital solution.
3) Examine outputs of trials with the solution to predict the long-term impact (e.g. cost-benefit) for the organisation/service if it was adopted into practice.
Within the final year of SEURO, an exploratory trial in Italy will be conducted to understand how these three new tools can advance procurement processes for health organisations/services. Overall SEURO engages a multidisciplinary EU consortium of 3 public and 6 private organisations, including: Irish academic partners Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT – Netwell/CASALA), one of the world’s leading ICT companies (IBM), the largest home care provider (Home Instead Senior Care) and two EU service provider and technology networks (AAATE and EASPD)).
‘SEURO’ which will be led by Dr John Dinsmore, represents the 3rd successful Horizon 2020 award that he has secured in the area of digital health technology at TCPHI.
COVID-19 and digital health
The arrival of COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption and implementation of newer, safer digital tools for healthcare. Health systems globally including the Irish health system are under significant strain due to COVID-19, compounded by our ageing populations, and disparities in the number of practising health professionals.
The impact of implementing ProACT during the pandemic as shown in the recent Sláintecare Integration Fund trial; ‘SMILE’ (Caredoc, Trinity College and Dundalk Institute of Technology) has the potential to enable the Irish healthcare service to decentralise care to the community, supporting the most vulnerable to COVID-19 (those with underlying health conditions) to be both empowered and supported to self-manage their health conditions at home without having to visit GPs or hospitals.
The implementation will further aid services in identifying remotely those most in need of care and support and thus being able to direct care effectively and efficiently to those individuals, reducing the high burden on financial and human resources.
Large scale deployment of the ProACT platform through the ‘SEURO project’ will help provide key evidence to the effectiveness of this digital solution, for advancing citizen centric digital integrated care solutions to support proactive health and well-being in Ireland, in line with the ambition of Sláintecare: to deliver the right care, in the right place at the right time.
Dr John Dinsmore, ’SEURO’ lead said:
SEURO presents significant recognition by the European Commission of the successful research previously conducted under the ProACT H2020 project, led by the TCPHI at the School of Nursing and Midwifery. This new project will allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of the ProACT platform in large scale trials across Europe as well as advance our understanding of key factors necessary to prepare organisations, localities and regions to scale, sustain and transfer people-centred, digital health solutions.
Overall, the ProACT platform presents a unique digital solution to comprehensively advance home-based multiple disease self-management as part of a model of digital integrated care. Through SEURO we will also be able to continue the work from ProACT H2020 to evaluate state of the art theories and methods from fields including behavioural science, human computer interaction and artificial intelligence, understanding further the impact on digital health, chronic disease self-management and integrated care.
Linked to the ProACT and SEURO projects, researchers at the TCPHI have recently launched the H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) ‘VisuAAL’ (www.visuaal-itn.eu). The programme which received €3.9 million (led by the University of Alicante, Spain) will provide scholarships to 15 students to explore the appropriate and secure use of video-based active and assistive living (AAL) technologies to deliver effective and supportive care to older adults managing their health and wellbeing. Three of the 15 PhD research fellows will be based at Trinity College from March 2021.
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