CS_AIW going from strength to strength


#CS_AIW going from strength to strength

The CS_AIW Cluster (Cancer Survivorship – AI for well-being) was setup by TFC Research and Innovation Limited.   The Cancer Survivorship – AI for Well-being” is a cluster of EU-funded projects that we initiated at the end of 2020 in the FAITH project.  Now involving 10 projects, our collective motto is that “We don’t work in silos” and the Cluster is heavily patient-centric. The cluster provides a vehicle for the exchange of information and experiences of EU projects working in the same space of Cancer Survivorship and how new emerging state of the art technology and mechanism can better support the patient, physicians and their carers.  One of the most relevant activities that is being carried out by the Cluster are the Meeting of Minds event (or MoM for short).  Recently, on February 23rd and 24th, 2022, the FAITH project, which TFC Research and Innovation Limited is a partner, is engaged in co-organizing the 4th Meeting of Minds (MoM4) as part of its activities in the CS_AIW Cluster (i.e. Cancer Survivorship – AI for well-being).

From the beginning, the MoM4 was a patient-orientated event. Indeed, it was developed around a single key question “How can new technologies better support patients?” In response, more than 100 stakeholders participated over the two days of the event. The audience included patients, patient associations, healthcare providers, advocates and IT specialists, researchers and policy makers. Moderated by Tom Flynn (TFC Research and Innovation Limited), these two days were really engaging for all the participants. In fact, every project in the Cluster individually presented their project activities, demonstrated wip technologies and received audience feedback. Collectively and individually, the Cluster projects listened and learned from stakeholders' insights. The event helped to strengthen their understanding for a better delivery of what is needed by the patients, clinical professionals and their care-givers.

CS_AIW Cluster Members

The projects in the Cluster include:

  • MENHIR– working on mental health monitoring through interactive conversations;
  • LIFECHAMPS– focused on integrated cancer care for the older cancer champions based on Big-Data and quality of life behaviour;
  • ONCORELIEF– working to improve the Quality of Life and developing mobile applications for cancer patients after treatment and for clinicians;
  • PERSIST– developing Big Data platform, mHealth application and multimodal sensing network to improve the Quality of Life of cancer survivors;
  • QUALITOP– monitoring multidimensional aspects of Quality of Life after cancer Immunotherapy and developing an open smart digital platform for prevention and patient management;
  • CLARIFY– developing actionable knowledge for improving cancer long survivors’ Quality of Life;
  • ASCAPE– working on an AI-powered framework, clinical testing and patient engagement;
  • REBECCA– developing a patient mobile application and a web browser plugin to improve intervention of care choices and analyze data to better understand how treatment affects Quality of Life;
  • CAPABLE– aiming to develop a support system for improving the Quality of Life of cancer home patients by combining technologies with socio-psychological models and theories *(NEW Member – Announced at MoM4);
  • FAITH – addressing post-treatment consequences of anxiety and depression through Artificial Intelligence based technologies.


Meeting of Minds 4 Guest speakers

During the MoM4, guest speakers representing healthcare professionals, patient advocacy and policy-making bodies joined the conversation around cancer survivorship. By sharing insight on cancer survivorship and technology's increasing role in healthcare, they pointed out crucial aspects of cancer and its impact on patients. Furthermore, they also shared their view on how technology can better support post-cancer patients’ as well as upcoming and promising AI applications. Notable guest speakers, included:

  • Barbara Kerstiens: Head of Unit “Combatting Diseases” - DG Research and Innovation, European Commission.

Dr. Kerstiens presented the ambitious “EU Mission on Cancer”, which confirmed that FAITH and the Cluster itself are working in the right direction; putting patients at the centre of innovation, focusing on Quality of Life. Also, the other 3 objectives are: understanding cancer, prevention and early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

  • Kathi Apostolidis: Former President - European Cancer Patient Coalition, President - Hellenic Cancer Federation.

Dr. Apostolidis addressed the audience on how to engage with patients and associations while preparing, executing and evaluating a clinical trial. In her presentation, Dr. Apostolidis explained how best to deliver the research value to the patients.

  • Gerd Murphy, Psycho-Oncological Nurse Practitioner - HSE Ireland.

Dr. Murphy presented the implications of cancer diagnosis from a psychosocial point of view. She shared improvements on how AI can support in key patient areas, such as the importance of awareness and normalization of the distress experience, as well as early detection of poor mental health.

Meeting of Minds 4 Roundtable Session

On Day 1, Panos Papachristou (Academic Primary Health Care Centre of Stockholm) moderated on a unique roundtable session. During an hour-long session, Panos engaged cancer patients and survivors into discussing patient engagement in clinical trials. Moreover, Roundtable panelists also focused on patient engagement in designing post-cancer treatment solutions. In particular, the roundtable enabled insight and opinions to be ascertained on new technologies' deployment in post treatment stage. Proactive participation of patients in research and innovation was well discussed; Roundtable panelists agreed that patient engagement throughout the whole process is necessary and their involvement should not just be at requirements and testing stages. Indeed, all participants confirmed the great importance of keeping patients/users at the center of ecosystems that Cluster members are building. This practice will ensure that the designs will effectively meet patients' needs.


What's next for the Cluster

To conclude MoM4, both Antonis Billis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and Tom Flynn (TFC Research and Innovation Limited), brought to the audience's attention, details on the Cluster's future steps. Specifically, these included the creation of a Better Practice Guide document, based common data sets and repository regarding cancer and Quality of Life, in line with the European Commission Cancer Mission directives. Moreover, the Cluster will plan a dedicated workshop demonstrating the ongoing solutions developed within the Cluster for clinical practitioners. Finally, a white paper publication on the Cluster activities, amongst other planned actions, is on the way.

We, in TFC and our colleagues in the FAITH project, look forward to working with our colleagues across the CS_AIW Cluster, for the common good of patients. We thank all who contributed to the planning, overseeing and participation at MoM4.