We take great pleasure in informing you that EFCCA is one of the 12 partners coming from 9 countries of the consortium for the miGut-Health Project, which has been selected for European funding under the Horizon 2020 framework. This project will strive to empower people living with IBD by creating state-of-the-art strategies for early disease prediction, prevention, and health monitoring. This will be achieved through data-driven approaches, personalised preventive interventions (such as nutritional changes), and innovative eHealth solutions. The ultimate goal of the project is to kickstart a shift from disease management to prevention.
With over three million people in the EU diagnosed with IBD, the associated annual healthcare costs amount to approximately EUR 5 billion. Moreover, symptoms such as abdominal pain, fatigue, and rectal bleeding can significantly affect an individual’s daily life. IBD’s unpredictable, alternating periods of remission and relapse add to the mental and physical burden of the disease for people affected by IBD.
To diminish this socio-economic burden, miGut-Health researchers will work in three interconnected directions: searching for gut health biomarkers, assessing personalised prevention measures, and developing citizen health engagement strategies.
Promoting Gut Health through Patient and Citizen Engagement
Novel eHealth technologies enable the active engagement of people in their healthcare. miGut-Health will develop and improve several AI-assisted eHealth platforms that collect Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) and monitor health status, disease activity and nutrition. Through this, researchers will provide personalised recommendations for better disease detection, management, treatment and prevention.
“Our aim in miGut-Health is to empower people living with IBD, individuals at high risk of developing IBD, and healthcare providers by putting them at the centre of our research,” says project coordinator Professor Andre Franke from the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel and the University Hospital Schleswig Holstein, Germany.
Improving Gut Health by Advancing Molecular-Level Understanding of IBD
By measuring gut health biomarkers, such as the gut microbiome, researchers in the miGut-Health project can learn about problems in the digestive system and how to improve gut health.
“Until today, there are only a few validated biomarkers for gut health assessment, which is why we will continue to identify and test existing biomarkers, integrate available extensive omics data, and search for novel biomarkers using state-of-art technologies and methods,” explains project co-coordinator Professor Jurgita Skieceviciene from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.
Study groups for the biomarker research will include IBD patients, high-risk disease individuals, and general population cohorts from several countries with a focus on the Faroe Islands, which have the highest IBD incidence worldwide.
EFCCA virtually met with the whole consortium for a pre-kick off meeting on 27 February which was also followed by an in-person one in Kiel (Germany) in May.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.