The COVIRNA project was presented at the ‘Back to a Healthy Future’ event
On 21 – 22 September, the Back to a Healthy Future event took place in Brussels. This technological showcase brought together companies and organisations from several European countries willing to respond rapidly to urgent needs in the healthcare system. The particular focus was on solutions to improve care for COVID-19 patients.
Back to a Healthy Future dedicated a session to EU-funded projects specialising in medical technologies, digital tools and Artificial Intelligence analytics to improve surveillance and care of COVID-19 patients. The 13 participating projects received funding from the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme of the European Union and are now in their final stages. The event was an excellent opportunity to review, share and discuss achievements, lessons and challenges.
Representatives of the 13 projects reported similar challenges. Specifically, they mentioned the short duration of their projects and the difficulties in achieving the expected outcomes and results within the short timeframe. Therefore, several projects had to request an extension of the project duration, including COVIRNA is one of them. The logistic challenge of collecting patient samples and data was also mentioned. Since projects started in the middle of the lockdown, getting proper access to needed facilities or participants was limited or more difficult.
Opportunities for the future
Representatives of the projects discussed opportunities to repurpose the advancements and technologies developed by these projects for post-COVID-19 times and make the tools transferable and adaptable to other health and clinical contexts.