New EUR 5 million project to transform care for multimorbid patients launched

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Care for patients with multimorbid chronic conditions could be transformed by a new cloud infrastructure to be developed at the University of Warwick's Institute of Digital Healthcare based at WMG, as part of a European project.

The system called C3-Cloud, which is led by the Institute of Digital Healthcare aims to transform current care models which are mostly fragmented, addressing chronic conditions in isolation. The researchers have been awarded EUR 5 Million to lead pilots of the system in three countries. Funded by EU Horizon 2020, 12 partners in seven countries are combining their expertise to improve care provided to patients with multimorbidity.

Patients with multimorbidity have two or chronic conditions such as diabetes, dementia and arthritis which makes treatment more complicated and has become more prevalent among older adults as mortality rates have declined and the population has aged.

Professor Arvanitis Head of Research at the Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG, University of Warwick and C3-Cloud project co-ordinator said: "The models used at the moment considerably limit the quality of care to patients, results in safety risks when treatments for each condition are not compatible with each other, and increases cost.

"This happens mainly due to avoidable readmissions to hospitals, as well as repeated visits to the various experts. C3-Cloud is a patient-centric approach, considering the unique circumstances of each patient, taking into account all their conditions and needs."

For the first time the system will allow for the creation of a personalised treatment plan for each patient by allowing hospitals, general practitioners and social care organisations across the health and care system to exchange information and coordinate care more effectively. The project will contribute to significant research breakthroughs in healthcare such as the introduction of new models of patient-centric, integrated care, and the development of automated IT supported clinical decision making which will prevent incompatible treatment plans.

C3-Cloud, which will run from for four years, involves 12 partners from six EU member states and one associated country (Turkey) and will include public health providers, industry, and research organisations. Other partners are: Software Research, Development and Consultancy Corp.(SRDC) Turkey; Institut national de la santé et de la recherché médicale (Inserm), France; European Institute for Health Records, (EuroRec) France; Empirica, Germany; Medixine, Finland; South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, UK; Osakidetza – Servicio Vasco de Salud, Spain; Kronikgune, Spain; Örebro University, Sweden; Region Jämtland Härjedalen, Sweden; and Cambio Healthcare Systems, Sweden.

The project will include three 15 month long pilots, which will be conducted in the Warwickshire region of UK, in the Basque Country in Spain and in the Jämtland Härjedalen region of Sweden. To demonstrate feasibility the trials will focus on diabetes, heart failure, renal failure and depression in different comorbidity combinations. The three European areas have been chosen because of their varied health, social care and technology systems in place. The comparisons will enhance the study's evidence base on health outcomes and efficiency gains. Eventually it is hoped that the system will be rolled out across Europe allowing patients with chronic multimorbidity to benefit from improved health and care.

Professor Arvanitis added: "The personalised care plans will be developed through systematic and semi-automatic reconciliation of clinical guidelines, and will incorporate risk prediction and stratification, recommendation reconciliation, poly-pharmacy management and goal setting. Active patient involvement and treatment adherence will be achieved through a Patient Empowerment Platform ensuring patient needs are respected in decision making and taking into account preferences and psychosocial aspects."

The Institute of Digital Healthcare, based at WMG, University of Warwick is a collaboration between WMG, Warwick Medical School, and the NHS, aiming to improve people's health and wellbeing by developing innovative digital technologies and services. Through cutting edge R&D and world class postgraduate education, the aim is to improve the quality, safety, accessibility, and productivity of healthcare for clinicians, patients and carers.

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Nicola Jones
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