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“WeHealth” kicks off: FBK to train researchers from EU countries in the process of expansion

21/01/2021 By

The European project will boost the scientific development of digital technologies for health care in Slovenia, Portugal and the Republic of North Macedonia.

How is health related research done? How are health systems based on Big Data built? How can you contribute to collaborative learning through artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques? How does machine learning integrates with the human factor? How are funding proposals for European projects written?

Fondazione Bruno Kessler has a long and consolidated experience in research on Pervasive Health – the digital pervasive technologies for healthcare. These skills will be made available to the three expanding countries thanks to the  WeHealth (Widening Research on Pervasive eHealth) European project, coordinated by UKIM – the Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje (North Macedonia) and formally launched on January 1.

WeHealth was funded through the “Horizon 2020” (Twinning of research institutions) call, entrusting FBK with a budget of € 181,250 (the total budget amounts to € 899,707), and will end on June 30, 2023.

Together with the German partners of the Hasso-Plattner-Institut für Digital Engineering gGmbH (HPI) based in Potsdam, FBK, through its Digital Health Lab, will therefore act as a “driving force” to encourage research and networking activities in an industry, that of digital health, in which the sharing of good practices and skills is strategic, especially in this difficult time.

We can in some way speak of a mutual help project: the “contract” of collaboration between the entities involved in the WeHealth consortium will in fact allow the exchange of knowledge so that the three year-project becomes an opportunity for collaboration and development of a network international company able to offer long-term support and cooperation for everyone, including FBK.

In che modo?

Sara Testa, TrentinoSalute4.0 project manager

How?

We asked project manager Sara Testa: “The program will focus above all on the training of a new generation of young researchers in the field of digital health technologies (eHealth), trying to provide them with tools in these scientific areas as well as in research management and administration. We will bring the knowledge we acquired also within the activities of TrentinoSalute4.0 on ethics, data management and training on the legal framework involved in research on digital health. There will be exchange opportunities, webinars, summer and winter schools, workshops and FBK will host PhD students and young researchers. Furthermore, the project has dissemination events among its cornerstones, so we will develop scientific papers with them, and we will understand the importance and strategies for positioning in the scientific community through participation in conferences and workshops. In short, a full immersion in the world of research on eHealth issues that will make it possible to bridge the gap of expanding countries in the management of activities related to research and project administration, which often represents an important obstacle to participation and obtaining European funding.”

The project held its “kick-off meeting” on Monday, January 18 with a virtual conference, during which FBK, with the other partners and representatives of the European Commission, determined each partner’s research tasks, operational plans and recommendations, in particular the policy aspects linked to the importance of improvement in the scientific field of the countries involved in WeHealth and the development of the whole European Community.

The kick off meeting on 1/18/2021 at FBK

Promoting and spreading research on “Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare” therefore means being familiar with a number of technical and scientific disciplines related to health and well-being, identifying and understanding problems also from a social, medical, legal and financial point of view (with special attention to understanding and supporting the needs of patients and professionals); understanding the processes of transformation taking place, the needs and habits of people, the organizational problems; having the skills needed to design, implement and evaluate hardware infrastructures, software, algorithms, services and support applications that will allow to best steer investments for the management of the facilities where care is delivered.

The Foundation, which can count on a scientific network of excellence also in this field, is part of the WeHealth Project Management Team   and has already supported the University of Skopje (North Macedonia) in the drafting phases of the proposal to obtain the funding. In the next few years it will continue to offer its support in coordinating the project, with the aim of making an institution from an expanding country – that is still waiting to join the European Union, such as the Republic of North Macedonia, autonomous in the coordination of European projects.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

PARTNERS AND CONTACTS:

ECONOMIC BUDGET-VALUE: € 899.707.50 of which € 181.250 for FBK

SCIENTIFIC FIELD: medical sciences, health sciences, health care services, e-health

KEYWORDS: Data-driven healthcare; Federated Machine Learning; Human Factors; Pervasive Health

EU websitehttps://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/952279/it



About the Author

Marzia Lucianer: Marzia Lucianer, giornalista scientifica, responsabile Press Office and Digital Communication di TrentinoSalute4.0