13 Apr A new platform that will inform mental health patients in real time about the progress of research in which they have taken part
· Patients participating in this type of study take an average of 5 years to receive information about the findings and conclusions.
· The Project has received funding from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism’s program to support Innovative Business Groups (AEI)
· This digital platform could be transferred to any other area of health.
· The initiative will be presented on the 20th of April
VININ is a new Spanish digital platform that will connect researchers and participants in mental health studies to inform and keep patients updated on scientific advances. With this, a continuous and bidirectional communication is encouraged, strengthened and consolidated.
Currently, it takes up to 5 years for participants in scientific studies, and the public in general, to receive information on the findings and conclusions of the mental health research studies in which they are involved. For this reason, the Clúster Salut Mental Catalunya (CSMC), together with the Clúster BIO Comunidad Valenciana (BIOVAL), the Institut Pere Mata, the Universitat de València (UV), Qualud and GENESIS Biomed have created a consortium with the aim of developing a tool to speed up and facilitate these communications.
Communication between researchers and participants is fragmented, fragile, often one-sided and poor. Communication is very much directed from the researcher to the participant, to convince them to collaborate in the study, and communication ends as soon as this phase is over, so that the person who contributes does not receive, for example, information on the overall results of the research, explains Dr. Elisabet Vilella. It was she who came up with the original idea and is the principal investigator of the project, as well as coordinator of the research group on genetics and environment in psychiatry at the Hospital Universitari Institut Pere Mata (IISPV-CERCA; URV) and principal investigator of GCV19/1/SAM of CIBERSAM.
A tool for the future of health
“Today’s society demands greater citizen input in health policies, including healthcare processes and research. Digitalisation can help create the necessary spaces for bidirectional communication between participants in biomedical research and its promoters,” says Professor Rafael Tabarés-Seisdedos, co-PI of the project, principal investigator of the CB/07/09/0021 CIBERSAM group, professor at the University of Valencia and commissioner for Mental Health, Drug Addictions and Addiction Behaviour of the Comunidad Valenciana.
“We have identified a need, as the research in mental health remains in the academic and university spheres, and the user is the latest to receive information about what is going on,” adds Tabarés-Seisdedos.
In addition, VININ consortium explains that the platform, which for now is aimed at the field of mental health, could be replicated in other healthcare areas.
This platform will be presented on the 20th of April at the Presentation of the results of the three projects financed by the support AEI program (Innovative Business Associations) from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism led by the CSMC.
An alliance for mental health patients
This is a consortium that has been created thanks to funding from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism’s program of support for Innovative Business Groups (AEI), whose mission is to improve the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Each of the institutions and organisations that are part of this project play a fundamental role in the development of the platform. The CSMC is the driving force behind the initiative in collaboration with the BIOVAL cluster, while the Institut Pere Mata and the University of Valencia, in addition to contributing to the construction of the platform, act as care partners, providing the researchers and participants who will be the first users of the platform.
Qualud is a technology innovation company specialised in the healthcare sector, which seeks to generate an improvement in the way people understand and relate to digital environments, generating a positive impact on their physical and mental health. GENESIS Biomed, which is also part of this consortium, is a consultancy firm in the biomedical healthcare sector specialised in providing services to companies, research centres, hospitals and technology centres.