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Call: Innovative tools for use and re-use of health data (in particular of electronic health records and/or patient registries)

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Programme
Acronym HORIZON-HLTH-TOOL
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 1 - Destination 5: Unlocking the full potential of new tools, technologies and digital solutions for a healthy society"

Calls for proposals under this destination are directed towards the Key Strategic Orientation KSO-A ‘Promoting an open strategic autonomy by leading the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, sectors and value chains’ of Horizon Europe’s Strategic Plan 2021-2024. Research and innovation supported under this destination should contribute to the impact area ‘High quality digital services for all’ and in particular to the following expected impact, set out in the Strategic Plan for the health cluster: ‘Health technologies, new tools and digital solutions are applied effectively thanks to their inclusive, secure and ethical development, delivery, integration and deployment in health policies and health and care systems’. In addition, research and innovation supported under this destination could also contribute to the following impact areas: ‘A competitive and secure data-economy’, ‘Industrial leadership in key and emerging technologies that work for people’, and ‘Good health and high-quality accessible health care’.

Technology is a key driver for innovation in the health care sector. It can provide better and more cost-efficient solutions with high societal impact, tailored to the specific health care needs of the individual. However, novel tools, therapies, technologies and digital approaches face specific barriers and hurdles in piloting, implementing and scaling-up before reaching the patient, encountering additional challenges such as public acceptance and trust. Emerging and disruptive technologies offer big opportunities for transforming health care, thereby promoting the health and well-being of citizens. Unlocking this potential and harnessing the opportunities depends on the capacity to collect, integrate and interpret large amounts of data, as well as ensure compatibility with appropriate regulatory frameworks and infrastructures that will both safeguard the rights of the individual and of society and stimulate innovation to develop impactful solutions. In addition to existing European Research Infrastructures, the European Health Data Space will promote health-data exchange and facilitate cross-border research activities. This destination aims to promote the development of tools, technologies and digital solutions for treatments, medicines, medical devices and improved health outcomes, taking into consideration safety, effectiveness, appropriateness, accessibility, comparative value-added and fiscal sustainability as well as issues of ethical, legal and regulatory nature.

In view of increasing the impact of EU investments under Horizon Europe, the European Commission welcomes and supports cooperation between EU-funded projects to enable cross-fertilisation and other synergies. This could range from networking to joint activities such as the participation in joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the development and adoption of best practices, or joint communication activities. Opportunities for potential synergies exist between projects funded under the same topic but also between other projects funded under another topic, cluster or pillar of Horizon Europe (but also with ongoing projects funded under Horizon 2020). In particular, this could involve projects related to European health research infrastructures (under pillar I of Horizon Europe), the EIC strategic challenges on health and EIT-KIC Health (under pillar III of Horizon Europe) or in areas cutting across the health and other clusters (under pillar II of Horizon Europe). For instance, with cluster 4 “Digital, Industry and Space” such as on digitalisation of the health sector, incl. health technologies, medical devices and key enabling technologies; assisted, autonomous, independent and empowered living; smart homes; decision support systems; health impact assessment (e.g. related to consumer products, working place innovation).

Expected Impacts

Proposals for topics under this destination should set out a credible pathway towards unlocking the full potential of new tools, technologies and digital solutions for a healthy society, and more specifically to several of the following expected impacts:

  • Europe’s scientific and technological expertise and know-how, its capabilities for innovation in new tools, technologies and digital solutions, and its ability to take-up, scale-up and integrate innovation in health care is world-class.
  • Citizens benefit from targeted and faster research resulting in safer, more efficient, cost-effective and affordable tools, technologies and digital solutions for improved (personalised) disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring for better patient outcome and well-being, in particular through increasingly shared health resources (interoperable data, infrastructure, expertise, citizen/patient driven co-creation).[[Commission Communication on the digital transformation of health and care; COM(2018) 233 final.]]
  • The EU gains high visibility and leadership in terms of health technology development, including through international cooperation.
  • The burden of diseases in the EU and worldwide is reduced through the development and integration of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, personalised medicine approaches, digital and other people-centred solutions for health care.
  • Both the productivity of health research and innovation, and the quality and outcome of health care is improved thanks to the use of health data and innovative analytical tools, such as artificial intelligence (AI) supported decision-making, in a secure and ethical manner, respecting individual integrity and underpinned with public acceptance and trust.

Citizens trust and support the opportunities offered by innovative technologies for health care, based on expected health outcomes and potential risks involved.

Link Link to Programme
Call
Innovative tools for use and re-use of health data (in particular of electronic health records and/or patient registries)
Description of call
"Innovative tools for use and re-use of health data (in particular of electronic health records and/or patient registries)"

Expected Outcome

This topic aims at supporting activities that are enabling or contributing to one or several expected impacts of destination 5 “Unlocking the full potential of new tools, technologies and digital solutions for a healthy society”. To that end, proposals under this topic should aim for delivering results that are directed, tailored and contributing to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Novel solutions improve quality, ensure interoperability and enable re-use of health data, data analytics and metadata from different repositories across countries by health professionals, researchers and health authorities, in compliance with FAIR data management principles as well as national and EU legal and ethical requirements (in particular with regard to personal data protection).
  • Health professionals, researchers and health authorities make effective use of tools enabling them to exploit unstructured and heterogeneous data from different sources to improve the delivery of care and advance health research.
  • Increased use and valorisation of health data by patients, researchers and clinicians thanks to better data portability due to the standardization of meta knowledge (meta data, ontologies and reference repositories) and clinical data, especially health data coming from different clinical services and sites, and/or from multiple countries.
  • Health care professionals use more efficient and cost-effective health care procedures and workflows that contribute to improved disease prevention, early detection/diagnosis and more effective treatment.

Scope:

Health data exists in many forms and multiple fragmented repositories; there is still significant room for improvement in the way both structured and unstructured health data is stored, analysed and interpreted. Sharing and analysing data from multiple countries in a safe and legally compliant manner (in particular with regard to personal data protection) remains a challenge. Powerful analytic tools are already helping providers to use structured data in increasingly impactful ways. On the other hand, the heterogeneity, diversity of sources, quality of data and various representations of unstructured data in health care increase the number of challenges as compared to structured data.

Advances in AI and machine learning, however, have the potential to transform the way clinicians, providers and researchers use unstructured data. Furthermore, developing data interoperability standards, trust and harmonization of GDPR’s interpretation across the EU for the sharing and processing of personal health data will support establishing a sound health data culture in view of the European Health Data Space.

Proposals should address all of the following aspects:

  • Developing robust novel solutions compliant with legal requirements (in particular concerning personal data protection) that will improve the quality, interoperability, machine-readability and re-use of health data and metadata in compliance with FAIR data management principles, making these data more accessible to clinicians, researchers and citizens. The focus should be on data in electronic health records (EHRs) and/or patient registries, taking into account the Commission Recommendation on a European Electronic Health Record exchange format.
  • Developing innovative natural language processing tools, including computational semantics, ontologies, text mining, associated machine learning and deep learning, to improve accessibility, interoperability, translation, transcription, and analysis of health data (e.g. to predict risks). Tools should extract health information from unstructured data in different clinical and medical sources, and bring that data into EHRs/patient registries in a structured form. The innovative solutions should also address missing data in EHRs and/or patient registries and their related metadata, to reduce bias and improve the quality of conclusions.
  • Developing and piloting AI-powered virtual assistants that will utilise the tools and solutions developed (as mentioned above) in order to demonstrate improved usability of health data for end-users.

Proposals are expected to build on and contribute to existing European and international data standards, specifications and schemas for health data. The use of open standards should be considered and interactions with relevant ongoing research infrastructure efforts are encouraged. Applicants should focus on health data coming from a number of EU Member States and EEA countries, constituting as much as possible a representative sample of the European healthcare landscape, so as to contribute to the work on the creation of the European Health Data Space.

To guarantee their adoption, the developed solutions should be quick and easy to use by researchers and clinicians. Therefore active involvement of end-users from the onset is encouraged. In particular, patient advocacy groups and citizens should be involved to ensure adequate consideration of diverse patient needs, with respect to their gender, ethnicity, age, ability, and socio-economic background, to underpin acceptance by patients and other data subjects. SMEs participation is also encouraged.

The proposals should duly take into account requirements stipulated in the relevant European regulations (Data protection, in vitro diagnostics and medical devices) and must meet appropriate ethical standards.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
United States of America
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
United States of America
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 8.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 30.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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