The Health and Care Cluster was created in 2019, as a healthcare-related activity of the Open Dei project, and was facilitated by EHTEL. Over a three-year period, the Cluster gathered together 14 Large Scale Pilot projects. These digital health services, platforms, pilots and projects had two themes in common: either to support Active and Healthy Living policies or implement AI in healthcare.
Here are the figures and experiences from the end of 2022:
The Cluster in 2022What is the Cluster doing in 2023?
In 2023, thanks to the support of the eHealth, Well-Being and Ageing Unit of the European Commission’s DG Connect and UNINOVA, in Portugal, EHTEL is continuing to facilitate the work of the Cluster. The Cluster’s work programme has been renewed, and its ambition is to become a sustainable collaboration mechanism dedicated to European Union (EU)-funded projects.
The Cluster’s objective is to maximise EU-funded pilots and projects’ impact by supporting them in developing synergies. For example, it will enable the pilots and projects to:
- benefit from other’s experiences and achievements, including in the early stages of project development,
- concentrate their efforts on specific areas of interest,
- create greater impact around their results.What enabled the Cluster to start its activities successfully?
The Cluster has developed a win-win approach for EU-funded projects, which enables them to develop synergies and to build their team efforts together. It pays attention to the following four principles:Clustering: It groups the projects according to criteria that are technical (e.g., reference architecture, building blocks) and either clinical or societal (e.g., use cases) with a view to establishing their concrete collaboration. Identifying other added-value projects: It pinpoints other projects – which have early inputs on specific topics with important added-value – and invites them to share their expertise with projects in the same Cluster. Identifying topics where a cooperative consolidation of knowledge can be achieved: It does this with a view to improving dissemination and exploitation. Supporting the cross-participation of projects to thematic workshops: It organises thematic workshops run by different, individual projects. What is on the 2023 agenda of the Cluster?
Today, the Cluster is steered by an overall coordinator working group that is structured according to six working groups:WG 1: Dissemination WG 2: Use case(s) WG 3: Evaluation and Key Performance Indicators WG 4: Architecture, standards and re-usable components WG 5: Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation and other regulations WG 6: Facilitating exploitation What is planned for 2024?
By 2024, most of the current projects that are members of the Cluster will no longer receive European funding or will be coming towards their completion date. Afterwards, the Cluster will continue to support the exploitation of the projects’ results. In particular, it will help to sustain the deployment sites which are maintaining the piloted digital health services with their own resources.
The EU’s Horizon Europe programme will grant funding to at least 20 projects on digital health. These future projects will be invited to consider joining the Cluster, with two aims in mind: to benefit from the lessons learned by their predecessors, and obtain guidance on how to avoid ‘re-inventing the wheel’.
For details about why and how new projects can join the Cluster, please look at the Terms of Reference or contact EHTEL Secretariat member, Luc Nicolas: email@example.com.