Welcome to the newsletter nº3 of RELIEF project!
We are a PCP project aimed to develop digital solutions for improving the self-management in chronic pain patients through technology. Since February of 2016, we are working for launching and managing a tender for developing new products that empower the patient and improve their quality of life.
We are close to the end of the project and we would like to share with you our progress and activities done in the last months. By reading us, you will learn how the field-testing of PCP Phase 3 has been carried out. Besides, we provide advance information on the two solutions developed in the project, whose functionalities, benefits and outcomes will be presented in the final RELIEF conference. Details of this event are also explained in this number. Finally, we have collected information about how other friend projects are progressing.
Enjoy your reading!
JAGGAER. Project Coordinator
The RELIEF project is approaching the end of its 3rd phase – the field testing. During this phase, the two ICT solutions that were developed in Phase 1 and 2 of the PCP process are being tested in clinical practice.
The 3rd phase started in April 2019 and it lasts longer than expected. It had some delays due to administrative problems in France with the ethical committee. Besides, the phase was especially impacted by the COVID-19 related restrictions. That is why the original deadline was postponed and the field testing finished at the end of January 2021.
The 3rd phase was developed in the sites of the three procurers. The participating pain clinics are the following:
France: Hôpitaux Universitaires Saint-Louis Lariboisière Ferdinand-Widal, Paris
Spain: Reina Sofía University hospital, Cordoba
Sweden: Uppsala University hospital, Uppsala
Some preparatory activities were needed before starting the field-testing. First, a prototype local adaptation of each prototype to the correspondent pilot site was carried out from April to May 2019. Then, a local pilot test with a reduced number of patients before the field testing started, was developed with the aim to ensure that the solutions were working in accordance with the expectations.
The Field Testing started in July 2019. The goal was to include a minimum of 120 patients, 40 patients involved in each region concurrently.
Patients with chronic pain scheduled for their first visit at the pain clinic were included in the study. At each study site 20 patients (60 patients in total) should be randomized to one of two ICT solutions and 20 patients at each site (60 in total) should be randomized as controls. During the inclusion meetings, patients were given information about the RELIEF project in general as well as about the conduct of the field testing. They were asked to fill in questionnaires related to pain management and patients selected to use the solutions were shown how to do so.
The evaluation period lasts for about 3 months. During this time, patients with ICT solutions were contacted by the field testing coordinators in order to ensure a good progress. After the 3 months period, all patients were asked to fill in the same questionnaires about pain management in order to conclude their participation to the study. Patients using ICT solutions were asked to answer additional questionnaires related to the use and the functionalities of the solutions. After some complications with patient recruitment due to COVID-19, it was decided that 3 patients per solution will also answer to an in-dept interview in order to collect sufficient data.
The recruitment of patients stopped at the end of October 2020 in all 3 sites even though the objective of 120 patients was not reached. In this way, all patients finished the clinical study by the end of January 2021 which leave the RELIEF Consortium enough time to analyse the results.
102 patients were recruited lin the field testing and 99 of them will successfully complete.
The Consortium partners are currently compiling and analysing all the collected data.
The results will be presented at the RELIEF Final Conference on the
17th of March 2021.
After our experience with the field testing and thanks to the feedback collected from patients, we can already present some lessons learnt:
A PREVIEW OF THE SOLUTIONS DEVELOPED IN THE RELIEF PROJECT
The solutions developed in the project address the common challenge shared by all procurers in the buyers group:
How could we improve self-management, empowerment and engagement in treatment, in chronic pain patients treated at
Pain Units. With this focus, the technologies had to enable patients to self-manage, as well as engaging and empowering
them to increase their ability to manage their symptoms, treatment, physical and psychosocial consequences and
Here we are presenting you an overview of the two solutions developed based on that challenge and that have been tested in real conditions. The buyers group is currently analyzing the conclusions of the data collected during the field-testing carried out in the last months. This analysis will be presented in the RELIEF Final Conference on the 17th of March. It will allow to evaluate the level of the accomplishment of the challenge and other requirements listed in the tender.
Two solutions were developed in the project: EPIONE by Gnomon Informatics S.A. and VR-RELIEF by Tech4Care.
- It is presented as a full pain management solution that allows patients:
- › Manage their Chronic Pain
- › Manage their Health data
- › Access to their treatment plans
- › Communicate with Doctors
- › Participate in support communities
- › Get education about chronic pain
- › Book medical appointments
- › Track their lifestyle with wearables
On the one hand, EPIONE contributes to the streamlining self-management. It was designed to cover a wide range of treatment needs from medication management to exercise plans and nutritional habits. It has an easy to use digital health agenda and smart notifications. The solution includes a smart dialogue that helps to increase the medication adherence. Besides, patients can set personal goals. The solution proposes a gamified education environment for better inform patients. Users can get in touch with other patients in a safe and trusted social media network.
On the other hand, the solution contributes to a better Chronic Pain Assessment. It is based on updated chronic pain science
and guidelines of the International Association for the study of Pain (IASP). Besides, patients can automatically populate
medical history data, connecting to healthcare systems existing EHRs.
The solution is developed by Gnomon Informatics, S.A.
More information about EPIONE: https://epione-app.com/
- VR-RELIEF is a mHealth solution which aims to improve self-management, empowerment and engagement in treatment for patients suffering from chronic pain. The patient uses a mobile app and wearable devices, integrated with a virtual coach based on artificial intelligence (AI) proprietary algorithms which runs a proactive monitoring. This solution can be potentially integrated with an immersive Virtual Reality (VR) system.
- This modular solution is composed by:
- 1) A HARDWARE PLATFORM: a smartphone, optionally integrated with a compatible smartwatch and a VR-Headset.
- 2) A MOBILE APP including features such as a Virtual Coach (DR. Relief), able to collect patients’ information directly from them, the clinicians and the integrated hardware (e.g. data from the smartwatch/wrist and the VR-Headset) and providing personalized reminders and feedbacks to enhance patients adherence to the treatment and monitoring the results. The App includes also a set of training contents and social community tools for patients’ training and self-management.
- 3) A PLATFORM FOR CLINICIANS to manage and profile the patients according to their clinical characteristics: data analysis allows the profiling of the patients, which will be the first step for the provision of (intelligent) personalized care.
- 4) A library of VR applications for pain treatment, relaxation and rehabilitation, which can be used via a portable VR-headset.
- The solution is developed in a partnership with Tech4Care, miThings AB and Ulster University.
RELIEF FINAL CONFERENCE
Save the date on your agenda! Wednesday 17th of March from 10:00 to 12:30 CET the RELIEF consortium will present the results of the project in a virtual event. We will count on the presence of Orestis Kalliantzidis from the Unit H.3 eHealth, Well-being, and Ageing of the DG CONNECT. He will give an overview about the PCP instrument. Contractors will present the two solutions developed in the RELIEF project and explain how they are planning to commercialize them. Our buyer group will share results and conclusions from the field-testing carried out in the three countries (Spain, France and Sweden). The event will end with a roundtable in which procurers and contractors will discuss good practices and lessons learnt from the PCP process based on their experience in the RELIEF project.