Two years have passed since the beginning of the FAITH project, and now we have grown well beyond its boundaries. For example, we have been busy networking with other EU-funded initiatives working on technological integration of AI concepts in cancer patients’ well-being. In the past months, the “Cancer Survivorship – AI for Well-being” (CS_AIW) Cluster that we established in 2020 has gained more members. Now, it comprises eleven projects with REBECCA, CAPABLE, and BD4QoL. Notably, the Cluster held its first public event, the Meeting of Minds 4, in which the Cluster members invited major stakeholders in the field of healthcare technology, fostering stakeholder engagement.

In addition, after being finalists at the 2021 .eu Web Awards organised by EURid, we were featured in a short video shot at our partner’s Deep Blue, in Rome.

Let’s look together at our latest dissemination and stakeholders’ engagement activities, and how networking with similar projects is bringing us closer to our goal.

Improving the quality of life of post-cancer patients: the EURid video on FAITH

Last year, FAITH was a finalist at the 2021 .eu Web Awards competition held by EURid, the organisation appointed by the EC to operate the .eu domain. The competition acknowledges the best websites using the .eu, .ею or .ευ extensions; over the years, it has seen and enhanced the visibility of hundreds of beautiful, innovative, and impactful websites. Among them was FAITH, competing in the “Better World” category. Our team participated in the Award Gala announcing the winners of each category; in the end, we didn’t win the competition, but the EURid team came back to us to become .eu testimonials and explain how .eu helps us boost our online presence and achieve our communication goals.

For this reason, the visited FAITH member Deep Blue, which leads FAITH’s communication and dissemination, in Rome, Italy. Deep Blue introduced FAITH, recounting how we are contributing to cancer patients’ well-being; then, they focused on this very website, our main channel of communication. The .eu dominion refers to the European background of the project and represents partners from all over Europe; but most importantly, it grants us the trustworthiness and reliability needed to reach out to our international audience.

We don’t work in silos: the “CS_AIW” Cluster engagement and networking

Since its establishment at the end of 2020, the “Cancer Survivorship – AI for Well-being” Cluster grew considerably. Bringing together projects that address the issues of mental health, well-being, depression, and patient support through a participatory research vision and user-centric approach, it was launched by four initial members; now, the Cluster counts eleven projects, who agreed to share knowledge, best practices and insights with each other.

Meeting of Minds 4 (MoM4)

Held last February, the Meeting of Minds 4 was the Cluster’s first public event; it focused on the question “How can technology better support patients?”. As the question that guided the event hints, it was highly patient-orientated; its main objectives was to collect crucially important feedback from future users on the digital supportive tools that the Cluster is developing. To fulfill the user-centric approach of the cluster, the event involved its main stakeholders: cancer patients and survivors, physicians and healthcare professionals, but also healthcare providers, IT experts and technology researchers, patient advocacy associations (ECPC, Patvocates), and policymakers (European Commission).

First, the Cluster members presented their projects; they provided an overview of the concepts guiding their work and of the technologies that they are developing. The cluster engaged the audience throughout the event, from giving feedback on projects to participating in the discussions with guests. In particular, the round-table discussion and the intervention of the EC and ECPC led the audience to engage in a fruitful exchange of insights that led to a unanimous conclusion: cancer patients, but also healthcare professionals and providers, need to be more directly involved in cancer research.

MoM4 Report and Session videos

After the Meeting of Minds 4, the Cluster drafted a Conference Report. It contains an overview of the Cluster members’ sessions, presenting the projects, as well as the interventions from guest speakers. In fact, the Report is a useful summary of the relevant points emerging from the MoM4, summing up the key concepts discussed during the event. The Cluster also recorded the MoM4 sessions and made them available in the Cluster members’ websites.

If you missed the event, you can watch the video of the FAITH session below.

The CA_AIW Cluster is growing: REBECCA, CAPABLE, & BD4QoL

Finally, the Cluster welcomed new members, who joined the group in the beginning of 2022. Besides working on improving cancer survivorship through technological aids, the new members share the Cluster’s guiding principles. They believe in participatory research vision, collaboration between members, and user-centred technology. The FAITH team welcomes them onboard and wishes them good luck on their endeavours!

The newest Cluster members are:

  • REBECCA – REsearch on BrEast Cancer induced chronic conditions supported by Causal Analysis of multi-source data. REBECCA aims to tap into Real-World Data to support clinical research and improve existing clinical workflows; it does so by combining clinical data with data on patients’ real-life behaviour. REBECCA will use these data for optimising patient care and as complementary outcomes during clinical research.
  • CAPABLECAncer PAtient Better Life Experience. CAPABLE combines data and knowledge management technology with a sound socio-psychological approach to develop a coaching system for improving cancer home patients Quality of Life. CAPABLE aims at early detection, managing cancer-related issues, and meeting patients’ and their home caregivers’ needs.
  • BD4QoLBig Data for Quality of Life. BD4QoL is developing Artificial Intelligence-assisted mobile applications; these aim at improving the Quality of Life of Head and Neck cancer patients through personalised monitoring and care post-treatment.

What comes next: Policy-makers’ engagement and upcoming Cluster activities

The Cluster is already working to put their knowledge on the table and make it more widely available for stakeholders. We are planning to engage policy-makers in order to take action and shed a light on cancer care and technology. For the Cluster, engaging EU policy-makers means bringing forward the Cluster results. We need to show how technology could be successfully implemented as a support for healthcare professionals.
In addition, we are working on a White Paper that will summarise the Cluster’s motives, objectives and lessons learnt throughout the collaboration. Moreover, the CS_AIW White Paper will also detail the next activities in which the Cluster will engage the stakeholders, but also offer recommendations and insights from the Cluster members.

Finally, the Cluster members will produce a series of podcasts focusing on relevant topics for the member projects; technological integration in healthcare, cancer care and survivorship Quality of Life, and eHealth. Each project will contribute to the podcast not only with its knowledge, but also with its members, who will build up and take part in the podcast episodes.

Stay tuned with FAITH and the CS_AIW Cluster!

Authors: Alessandro Tedeschi Gallo, Vera Ferraiuolo, Deep Blue (Rome, Italy)