Our contributions as experts have also made waves in the healthcare industry through a number of projects and collaborations. Within the project “COGKNOW” (Living Independently with Dementia), we have assisted in the application of research. The project aimed to help people cope with dementia in their day-to-day lives through various means; by providing reminder cues, encouraging social contact, performing daily activities, and instilling feelings of safety in these individuals.
We were also part of a learning project, targeting carers of those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. “STAR” (Skills Training and Re-Skilling for Carers of People with Dementia) provides dementia care training for healthcare personnel such as carers who have no formal skills, family members, those living in countries with poor healthcare services and immigrant workers. The aim is to improve these individuals’ skills. Throughout the project, we served as Work Package leader, by being in charge of putting the course onto a digital platform as well as assisting in the launch of the 2013 Alzheimer’s Europe Conference.
Within this sector, we have collaborated with renowned companies such as CISCO. In fact, we have helped the hardware company enter the Greek and Sicilian markets through a range of telepresence products. These devices were to be used as an information network amongst treatment personnel, health authorities, public health systems, funding enterprises and researchers in order to ensure that the patient receives the best healthcare services. Our involvement was to promote and prove how technological innovation can also be applied to the health industry.
We are currently playing an important role in the development of a related project called “BioExcel2” (Centre of Excellence for Computational Biomolecular Research). This is a Horizon-2020 project, aimed at promoting Europe as the frontrunner in pharmaceutical research. We are serving as leader of the Business Development and Exploitation Work Package, our responsibility being to support industry and academia by finding results which can be marketed. These will be commercialised using chemical and medical applications, specifically for drug design, biotechnology as well as the food and chemical industries. Therefore, we are seeking commercial ways in order to make the research results sustainable.
Since we are keen on the application of technology in all areas of the European citizen’s life, we have also been invested in utilising AI within the health sector. Currently, we are part of the project “ITAMA” (Interreg Italia-Malta), which relies on ICT tools in the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. This project in particular is focusing on the diagnosis of coeliac disease in children by using a new AI-testing kit to help medical professionals. The result is: the largest global coeliac testing in 22,000 children from both Malta and Sicily. We are collaborating with Mater Dei Hospital and the University of Palermo and Messina, as well as with the Sicilian Regional Authority for Health. Our role is as communication leader and technical partner, whereby we are building a Graphical User Interface for medical professionals and policymakers. We are also working on the exploitation of the research results and marketing the software program.