European project funded by the European Commission’s FP7-ICT programme

EURECA, a European project, aimed to close the gap identified in healthcare IT infrastructures by building software solutions to improve interoperability among existing data systems.

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Despite improvements in healthcare IT infrastructures, a gap was identified in the ability of these systems to deliver knowledge and insight back to the researchers, clinicians, and patients they are intended to support. EURECA, a European project, aimed to close this gap by building software solutions to improve interoperability among existing data systems, such as clinical trials and electronic health record systems.

Oncology was selected as the focus domain for EURECA because of the incidence of cancers, the complexity of data collected, and of the therapy options. On top of the semantic interoperability environment, the tools developed by EURECA could deliver several benefits for patients, including early identification of patient safety issues and more efficient recruitment of eligible patients to trials. The project investigated the use of patient-recorded information (e.g. stored in a Personal Health Record system) to detect potential patient safety issues. The EURECA environment also enables long term follow-up of patients to establish outcomes such as levels of recurrence. Oncology research can benefit greatly from improved interoperability and the ability to reuse the vast amounts of data collected within care.

EURECA covered technological, medical and legal research, service development, large-scale system integration, testing, and uptake activities in a complex interaction.

More specifically  the following tasks were defined:

·       Scenarios of user behaviour and interaction with platform functionality is an extremely useful instrument for identifying key technological, security, socio-economic and business drivers for future user requirements of new work methods and collaborative work environments. The created scenarios were deduced from the domain settings defined by users and provided the framework for all subsequent user requirements specifications.

·       Functional user requirements specifications based on the user scenarios involved addressing seamless interoperability, openness, and specific user requirements for the selected user cases also had to be integrated in the functional requirement specification.

·       Trust and security user requirements specifications involved identifying not only trust and security issues, but also legal and ethical issues, which in turn translated into new trust and security requirements.

·       Societal user requirement specifications done by correlating ethical, regulatory and policy issues with the deployment and wide-spread use of the EURECA environment and services. Aspects of social acceptance, regulatory frameworks for surveillance and control of private citizens, privacy of data, governmental provisions, and other such challenges were addressed and integrated with the functional and trust and security user requirement.

Led by Philips Electronics, the initiative brought together 18 partner organisations from Europe and Canada with the technical and clinical expertise to create these unique IT solutions.

  • Philips Research
  • Institut Jules Bordet
  • Custodix
  • University of Saarland (Medical School)
  • The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Breast International Group
  • Leibniz University Hannover
  • Xerox
  • Universidad Politechnica de Madrid
  • Maastricht Radiation Oncology Clinic
  • Maastricht Radiation Oncology Clinic
  • Ecancermedicalscience
  • EuroRec
  • Microsoft
  • Stoneroos Interactive Television
  • The German Breast Group
  • National Research Council Canada

The project started on 01/02/2012 for a period of 42 months.

The initiative involved 18 partner organisations from Europe and Canada, among them BIG

EURECA was funded by a grant from the European Commission’s FP7-ICT programme (FP7-ICT-2010-288048).

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