Wed, Sep 20, 2017

“Face to face meetings are the best!”

MobiGuide consortium meets in Madrid.

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In May MobiGuide team members travelled to Madrid for the fourth MobiGuide Consortium meeting. We met at the sunny campus of MobiGuide partner UPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid). All 13 MobiGuide partner organisations took part.

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The weather was beautiful if a little cold for the time of year...but the cold didn't matter... we were indoors all day!

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Our hosts at UPM

Monday and Tuesday were Consortium meeting days, when work package leaders and partner representatives reported progress, answered tough questions from their colleagues and led debate.

The many topics of discussion included: personalisation of the MobiGuide services to the individual patient (and how to achieve this technically with the ICT system whilst preserving the principles of evidence-based medicine inherited from the clinical practice guidelines), system security, data security and privacy issues, projection of knowledge from the backend decision support systems (DSS) to the mobile DSS, data integration into the Personal Health Record – all major challenges and research themes of the project.

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MobiGuide Consortium meeting

An example of personalization is adapting to the preferences of patients relating to how and when they wish to be reminded to follow their daily therapy advice (and indeed if they want to receive such reminders at all). Another example of personalization is giving the patient the option of adapting the treatment regime to special situations such as attending a wedding, which may have different implications for different patients. For example, attending a wedding might imply for one patient an increased intake of carbohydrates whilst for another it may imply lots of dancing (so increased expenditure of energy!) Capturing each patient's individual preferences and contexts and designing an ICT system that respects and adapts to them raises many interesting engineering challenges as well as human factors and medical ethical issues. The preferences and contexts of each patient, and the consequences for adapting their treatment, are worked out in consultation between the patient their medical specialist and then entered into their own personalised MobiGuide system.

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Lunch break at UPM

The meeting was a good opportunity to hear from our clinicians (endocrinologist Dr. Mercedes Rigla and Cardiologist Dr. Carlo Napolitano) and the patients representative (Àngels Pallàs) regarding their expectations and ideas for the project. Amongst others Dr. Rigla reported on a survey she performed of patients with gestational diabetes (GDM). 60% of the GDM patients needed insulin during their pregnancy. She included questions to gauge patients' familiarity with new technology. Her findings showed that 85% of the 123 subjects use the internet more than twice a week, 62% have a mobile phone, 73.5% use messenger and 71% use email. Dr. Napolitano's presentation addressed the planning of the patient pilots and some of the benefits that the value that clinicians would like to see such as more skillful diagnosis of difficult cases (of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation) and detection of clinically relevant episodes by means of continuous monitoring of symptoms.

Àngels Pallàs, representing a patient organization, gave a presentation and stressed that use of the MobiGuide system by patients should only require minimal computer knowledge and patients should not have to face a lot of technical language. The need for patients to enter data should be minimal.
And the cost should be kept low.

On Wednesday all the technical partners met to progress the technical work on the implementation of all the MobiGuide components and preparation for the demonstration of the system which will be held at the next consortium meeting in Pavia in October and is led by our Technical Manager Tom Broens from MobiHealth BV. The scenario will be based on the clinical case of gestational diabetes and will show progress over the previous prototype including distribution of decision support, personalization, and security.

We also reached consensus on our deployment strategy for year 4 and Daniele Segagni from FSM hospital in Pavia was selected to be our Deployment Manager.

Many of the participants left at the end of Day 3 to present at the AIME (Artificial Intelligence in Medicine) conference in Murcia.

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After three 10 hour days of meetings we were ready for a bit of relaxation!

Project coordinator Professor Mor Peleg of Haifa University sums up the achievements of the meeting:

"Face to face meetings are the best: we had great discussions during these three days, working together on brain storming, planning, and problem solving. We now have detailed plans for addressing all reviewers' comments that were left open and we made excellent progress in planning the gestational diabetes scenario for the Hello Pavia demo due in October.
As we say: we are tired but satisfied. TWMA (till we meet again)."

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Prof. Mor Peleg

Val Jones for MobiGuide Consortium, 13 June 2013.