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EIT Health InnoStars partners in SAPHIRe consortium on personalised medicine

27th March 2019

As an official partner of SAPHIRe consortium, EIT Health InnoStars joined an interactive workshop on the future of personalised medicine on 12-13 March. The two-day interactive workshop took place at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts in Brussels, with EIT Health InnoStars joining stakeholders from across the entire value chain to discuss current barriers and needs regarding the development and practical implementation of personalized medicine in all European regions.

SAPHIRe (Securing the Adoption of Personalised Health in Regions) started the ball rolling on 1 December 2018 and is coordinated by the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) of the Flemish Government. Other consortium members include the Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being (PHA) from Northern Ireland, the EuroBioForum Foundation (The Netherlands), as well as EIT Health InnoStars. The project supports the agenda of the International Consortium of Personalised Medicine (ICPerMed), which was formally established in November 2016 at the initiative of the European Commission.

EIT Health Innostars has been developing activities in healthcare innovation and training all over Europe for the last 4 years, so when we received the invitation to be part of a consortium in personalized medicine in European regions it seemed just like a natural step forward,” states Daniela Dias Santos, Innovation Project Analyst, EIT Health InnoStars. “Although personal medicine sounds like it is still distant in the future, in reality it is as simple as understanding why some people will only have pain relief from a simple headache after taking ibuprofen and others will need an aspirin. During this workshop we heard inspiring stories of hope from our colleagues, for example, on how a little boy with cancer not only showed no response to treatment but also got gravely ill after chemotherapy, weeks went by and no improvement was shown leaving doctors and care providers astonished and desperate, they decided to do a whole genome sequencing, which in turn identified a mutation that prevented the chemotherapy agent from performing as expected, once doctors switched the agent, the little boy improved and was finally able to return to school.  This example not only allows us to understand the meaning of personalized medicine but also the relevance of the work being developed by Innostars and the SAPHIRe consortium through direct support of regions in Europe to structure the implementation and adoption of personalised medicine in regional healthcare systems,” sums up Daniela Dias Santos, who participated in the workshop.

Personalised Medicine (PM) has been rapidly evolving in recent years. PM is strongly technologically-driven and will induce a transformation in how health and well-being are approached, and how medicine is being implemented. The integration of knowledge relating to health, disease and ageing, with digital technologies and access to data, opens up significant potential in developing new applications to improve general health and wellbeing, along with making preventive medicine a reality.

SAPHIRe will run for the next two years, and along with plans to engage with regional stakeholders, including policymakers, industrial, and academia via a series of thematic workshops.

More about the workshop: https://www.saphire-eu.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/saphire-barriers-and-needs-ws-kathleen.pdf

More about the SAPHIRe consortium: https://www.saphire-eu.eu/

If you need more information, please contact Daniela Dias Santos daniela.diassantos@eithealth.eu

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