We all know from experience the importance of teaming up, especially when talking about cancer. Patients and survivors know the meaning of coming together with oncologists, radiotherapists, psychologists, and many other professionals. The health team’s support is crucial to the journey, even beyond having reached the status of survivor!
Cancer survivorship AI-based support: meet the Cluster
As Japanese author Ryūnosuke Akutagawa said, “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean”. Hence, we decided to join forces together with 4 other projects, collectively engaging in the “Cancer Survivorship – AI for Well-being” Cluster. This powerful group, with a unique user-centric approach, comprises EU funded projects that joined this initiative led by FAITH partner TFC Research and Innovation Limited (TFCRIL).
With FAITH, the following projects are members of the Cluster:
- MENHIR – Mental health monitoring through interactive conversations;
- ONCORELIEF – digital guardian angel enhancing cancer patient’s wellbeing and health status improvement following treatment;
- LifeChamps – A Collective Intelligence Platform to Support Cancer Champions;
- QUALITOP – Monitoring multidimensional aspects of QUAlity of Life after cancer ImmunoTherapy, an Open smart digital Platform for personalized prevention and patient management.
All 5 projects are highly committed in exchanging information and experiences bringing their own expertise and specificities. One of the most relevant activities that is carried out by the group are the Meeting of Minds (MoM) events. These are mainly closed events where projects meet expert stakeholders such as survivors, healthcare personnel, researchers, and SMEs. Through these events, the projects have the opportunity to engage with stakeholders to better understand the issues from different perspectives. The MoM is also useful to assess and reassess whether each project is in line with patient and user expectations.
Data-driven, high-tech healthcare: a patient-centric approach
Collectively, our individual projects’ objective remains the same: that is, to improve survivors’ well-being through a real and deep collaboration among projects and key stakeholders. Tom Flynn, TFCRIL Innovation and Business Development Manager, had a motto in mind when he started the process to build the Cluster, together with the project coordinator Waterford Institute of Technology – “We don’t work in silos” while ensure we apply a user-centric approach across the implementation of our project work.
Our initial MoM event took place on 28th January 2021, with the tremendous participation of these projects and experts. It focused on listening and learning from patients and support teams to establish a better understanding of the real issues that they face. The event was appropriately titled – “Help Us to Help you”. Two more MoM events are in plan to take place later in 2021, one of which will be an event open to a wider public and stakeholders. Our events are aiming to foster interaction and discussion among participants in an open, not-judgemental environment.
We constantly adopt a user-centric approach for each MoM event. From the outset, the patient needs are pivotal for each project. The Cluster activities also explore the possibilities for industrial uptake of their outcomes, an important phase of all EU projects called exploitation. We aim to build on from the ongoing Cluster activities, meeting, and project engaging experiences and exchanges to the foreground.
The “AI for well-being” Cluster members
Other related projects have contacted us and, over the course of the project, we foresee the cluster growing in size. Consequently, activities will widen for the common good of the patient and their support structure. If you wish to know more or engage with the “Cancer Survivorship – AI for Well-being” Cluster, contact Tom Flynn for further inquiries.
Author: Tom Flynn of TFC Research and Innovation Limited (TFCRIL).
TFCRIL is an engaged scientific research company partnering with organisations in scientific research projects. It focuses on demonstrating value creation, helping to meet both industrial and societal challenges, set at national and European levels.