miGut-Health Research Project Endeavours to Empower People Affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) encompasses two incurable chronic conditions, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, that cause inflammation and damage in the gastrointestinal tract. With over three million people in the EU diagnosed and associated costs of approximately EUR 5 billion annually, IBD has a significant impact on daily life and healthcare costs. Self-care and symptom monitoring are crucial for managing IBD, but more personalised patient engagement strategies, preventive measures, and effective digital health tools are needed.
Taking on this mission, the new miGut-Health research project strives to empower people affected by IBD by creating state-of-the-art strategies for early disease prediction, prevention, and health monitoring. This will be achieved through data-driven approaches, personalised preventive interventions (such as nutritional changes), and innovative eHealth solutions.
To diminish the socio-economic burden of IBD, miGut-Health researchers will work in three interconnected directions: searching for gut health biomarkers, assessing personalised prevention measures, and developing citizen health engagement strategies. The goal of the 12 partners is to kickstart a shift from disease management to prevention. Eurice is proud to join the consortium of leading European and Israeli experts in biomedical, data and social sciences, software developers, and pan-European patient organisation representatives.
Promoting Gut Health through Patient and Citizen Engagement
"More research into IBD is needed to understand its underlying causes, develop new treatments, predict disease outcomes, and improve the quality of life for people with IBD. It is crucial for modern health research to take into account people's own experiences," says Eurice Managing Director Jörg Scherer. "With miGut-Health, we are very pleased to be part of a project aiming to achieve just that."
miGut-Health will develop and improve several AI-assisted eHealth platforms that collect Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) and monitor health status, disease activity and nutrition. Through this, researchers will provide personalised recommendations for better disease detection, management, treatment and prevention.
Improving Gut Health by Advancing Molecular-Level Understanding of IBD
By measuring gut health biomarkers, such as the gut microbiome, researchers in the miGut-Health project can learn about problems in the digestive system and how to improve gut health.
Study groups for the biomarker research will include IBD patients, high-risk disease individuals, and general population cohorts from several countries with a focus on the Faroe Islands, which have the highest IBD incidence worldwide.
Over the next four years, the miGut-Health project will receive EUR 7.5 million in funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe programme and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI).
The activities in miGut-Health kick off on 27 February 2023 with a virtual meeting.