EU Funded Project Launched to Advance Personalised Rehabilitation Care and Therapy

In June 2023, PREPARE, a new €6 million EU project, has been launched to transform rehabilitation and improve the lives of people living with chronic noncommunicable diseases.  

Rehabilitation plays a central role in the promotion of good health, prevention of disease, treatment, and palliative care. The WHO estimates that 2.4 billion people are living with health conditions that could benefit from rehabilitation, making it crucial to achieving universal health coverage and promoting well-being for all. However, each patient’s unique rehabilitation needs and goals makes predicting outcomes difficult and the need for these rehabilitation services will grow due to population changes and the impact of emergencies. 

PREPARE aims to take on the challenges to advance rehabilitation care. By using the latest advances in clinical, socio-behavioural, and public health research, data science, and advanced statistical and AI learning methods, the project will develop data-driven prediction and stratification tools to support healthcare professionals and patients in selecting the optimal therapy. 

PREPARE is an ambitious and complex endeavor. Currently, prediction and stratification models in rehabilitation are scarce, predominantly developed without modern computational and AI techniques, confined to small-scale experimental and observational data, and typically don’t involve the use of key social and living condition data. To tackle these issues, an extended multidisciplinary expertise is needed. PREPARE aligns and focuses the combined efforts in a productive and robust protocol.

Lead Investigator, Dr Petros Patias

Current prediction and stratification tools in rehabilitation medicine are challenging to develop. One challenge is that rehabilitation is a complex intervention requiring more than one treatment at a time and a multi-professional team approach, making almost every treatment unique. A second challenge is that patients, due to their condition, require medium- and long-term treatment across different healthcare phases. Moreover, each patient has unique rehabilitation goals based on external circumstances and patient factors.

PREPARE can create a breakthrough by bringing clinical, technical and AI expertise together and providing safe access to several unique data sets for tool development. To maximize impact, we will focus on building an interactive multi-language platform to share model results, test different stratification strategies, provide statistical insights, and obtain valid explainable predictions on individual patients

Scientific Manager, Prof Ruud Selles

PREPARE tools will pave the way to more personalised, reliable, and holistic rehabilitation and care that considers external circumstances and patient factors to improve quality of care and life. The tools will combine real world data sets in a unified manner, including sociodemographic, living conditions and behavioural information. Over the course of four years, the project’s team of experts will showcase the power of the approach through pilot cases in nine pathologies, constituting prominent causes for rehabilitation in Europe and worldwide.

The team of experts consists of 20 EU partners: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), KIKLO (Greece), ISICO (Italy), Ospedale Galeazzi (Italy), Erasmus MC (Netherlands), Han University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), Marche Polytechnic University (Italy), Centre for Research and Technology (Greece), Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia), University Rehabilitation Institute (Slovenia), CELLOCK (Cyprus), Radboud University Medical Center (Netherlands), University of Milan (Italy), Not An Average Legal Advisor (Netherlands), Trilateral Research (UK & IE), Linköpeng University (Sweden), The European Union of Medical Specialists (Cyprus), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Netherlands), and Eurospine (Germany).

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