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An  EWUU project on the topic of Artificial Intelligence has led to a prestigious 18 million euro Horizon Europe grant to improve the use of patient generated health data in close collaboration with industry partners.

The IMPROVE-consortium, consisting of 26 cross-disciplinary partners, has received a 18 million euro Horizon Europe grant. Within this consortium, Rens van de Schoot, from Utrecht University, leads the work package which will form the basis of the entire project ‘With open-source, AI-aided, ASReview software we can screen large amounts of text’, says Van de Schoot. ‘This helps scholars and practitioners in the other work packages to get an overview of the most relevant records for their work as efficiently as possible while being transparent in the process.’ EWUU is investing in this success by providing new funding and thus strengthening the collaboration between the four institutions within this field.

Health Data

One of the main aims of the IMPROVE consortium is to improve the use of Patient Generated Health Data; for example lab results or the patient’s medical history. ‘The ASReview software will help sort through all the text information within this data set’, says Van de Schoot. This data will help advance the role of patient preference and patient experience in the context of treatment selection. It will also improve medical device design based on patient preferences and experiences. And it will facilitate faster market entry of patient-centric and cost-effective advanced integrated care solutions.

Open, transparent and reproducible

You might argue that with the development of open AI like chat GPT, a tool like ASReview would be redundant. Van de Schoot: ‘The major difference is that we work with a system that is open, transparent, and fully reproducible. Where chat GPT is a black box. We also believe that humans should always be responsible for the choices that are made, for example, which relevant papers to include.’

Industry partners

The consortium is a public-private partnership (PPP), with partners such as Philips Medical System Nederland BV, Roche and The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). Van de Schoot: ‘The core idea of the grant is that by funding industry partners, they will be invited and stimulated to collaborate with the governmental partners. Universities will deliver the know-how and topic experts, and the industry partners will carry out the work. This way of collaboration is very exciting, because it turns the normal way of collaborating upside down. I am eager to start working on the project and am looking forward to the many insights this co-creation will bring us.’

Role of ewuu alliance

In 2021 Van de Schoot and his team members:  Chris Knighting (TU/e), Bedir Tekinerdogan (WUR) and Daniel Oberski (UMC Utrecht), , Frans Folkvord (Open Evidence / Predict By), Tijmen Altena (IdFuse / Impacter) received a grant (€40.000,-) from the EWUU alliance working group Artificial Intelligence. With the goal to provide AI-aided tools in health care and write a grant proposal for the Horizon Europe funding scheme.
The initial seed money from EWUU facilitated the development of a Work-package for an EU proposal. Although the team did not manage to secure the EU grant they initially had in mind, collaboration with tech parties continued, elevating the technology readiness level (TRL) of the research.
The team continued to use the WP description for other grants without the inclusion of all four universities. This is because, for most EU calls, it is not allowed to add that many Dutch universities. Recently, a grant worth 400K was obtained by the team to boost the TLR level to maximum. And now Van de Schoot and the IMPROVE consortium (26 partners) have received a HORIZON grant (18M euro) with the WP developed with alliance seed money, as the main building block of the rest of the proposal.

The consortium has been invited to start the grant agreement preparation. It is expected that the first grant agreements will be signed by 31 August 2023 and that the project can start in the fall of this year Follow up funding has been provided by EWUU to use this success within the alliance to help consortia with speeding up systematic reviews.