Philips has received €1.8 million from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program to pilot big data solutions to achieve better patient outcomes in healthcare at a lower cost. The three-year program is the largest EU-funded initiative to transform the region’s healthcare sector through the use of big data. The project involves €17 million in total, of which €15 million is funded by the EU. TU/e (€332,000) and Tilburg’s Tweesteden Hospital (541,000) are among the other participants in the project.

The ‘BigMedilytics’ program aims to improve patient outcomes and increase productivity in the health sector by applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to complex datasets across the data value chain. This includes data from patients, healthcare providers, health insurers and medical technology providers.

“From patients capturing their own health data with wearable devices to ubiquitous monitoring across the hospital from the emergency room to the general ward, a huge amount of information about people’s health is being created,” said Henk van Houten, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Research at Philips. “By applying AI to that data and combining that with the clinical knowledge we are able to develop meaningful insights and workflow improvements that can improve patient care whilst reducing the burden of cost to health systems.”

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    “This program is an opportunity to demonstrate how a value-based approach to Europe’s healthcare sector can help it transform in order to meet the changing needs of its citizens,” explained Olof Akre, Professor, Head of Prostate Cancer Patient Flow at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden. “Big data technologies will have a big impact on health. By focusing this program on pilot implementations we will make these benefits concrete whilst creating the networks and know-how that will strengthen Europe’s position in applying big data in the health sector.”

    By bringing together all the key players from across health data value chains, the program seeks to break down the barriers between traditional healthcare silos and combine data sources to unlock new insights and enable collaborative innovation. It will also ensure the security and privacy of personal data are protected and managed within national and EU regulatory frameworks.

    With funding shared across 35 partners in 12 countries, the collaboration will combine insights from more than 11 million patients. It will be divided into three areas: Population Health and Chronic Disease Management, Oncology, and the Industrialization of Healthcare. With the majority of health budgets currently spent on treatment, the program will also implement pilots across the care continuum, from prevention to diagnosis, and treatment to home care.

    Horizon 2020 is a large EU Research and Innovation program, with the goal of ensuring Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of