Launch of EU-funded 'ecancerHub' website
A new hub of information for those affected by cancer has just been launched, providing an open-access, integrated approach to providing the whole cancer community with high-quality and trustworthy information.
The product of two years' work as part of the 'Establishing an efficient network for cancer communication in Europe' (EUROCANCERCOMS) project, which was boosted by more than EUR 1.2 million of funding under the 'Science in Society' Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), 'ecancerHub' brings together information from major European cancer organisations in one easy-to-use site.
The aim of the site is to create a single place where patients, health care professionals, researchers and policymakers can all come together to interact, discuss, debate and build knowledge; by using social media applications, the site was made to be familiar and easy to use. It contains information about different types of cancer, as well as information for patients and their families. EUROCANCERCOMS overall aim was to tackle bottlenecks in the communication and dissemination of cancer information across Europe, with the overall aim of setting up a single 'go to' website for cancer communication in Europe.
'We are excited and gratified with the response of the partners in the project, who recognised the need for a communication solution for all those involved in cancer across Europe,' says leader of the EUROCANCERCOMS project Professor Gordon McVie, also managing editor of ecancermedicalscience, an open-access cancer journal and online news outlet founded by the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy. 'We are particularly pleased with the proposed solution, which we have launched. ecancerHub fulfils our vision of a 'one-stop-shop' and we strongly urge you to use and help develop it further.'
The project was based on research carried out by Rachel Warden from the European Association for Cancer Research, based at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Her study, published in the journal ecancermedicalscience, analysed how the Internet has changed communication for cancer researchers and explored its potential to change it still more in the future. The study looked at both formal and informal communication, and how these are both changing with the use of new web tools. She found there existed a need for a trusted online common platform for healthcare professionals, patients, researchers and policymakers alike to be able to communicate, network, share and produce knowledge.
Whilst the Internet can be a vast source of useful information, information overload and a fragmented, exhaustive array of resources, networks and knowledge providers are seriously impeding the translation and implementation of research in Europe. Without a reliable network, this constant explosion of new data will increasingly pose problems for effective scientific communication.
And this is where ecancerHub comes in! Although the site has now been launched, the real hard work is just beginning. Networks require collaborative input, and project partners are calling on the European cancer community to get active and contribute to the site. A project leader, Professor Richard Sullivan of the European Cancer Research Managers Forum, explains: 'We have this excellent platform and now we want the cancer community to get involved, upload content and make this a buzzing hub of ideas and information.'
The 2-year long EUROCANCERCOMS project was made up of 18 project partners from Belgium, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
By establishing an integrated EU model for a Europe-wide cancer information and policy exchange portal, the pan-European team have succeeded in their aim of creating a functional exchange system for accurate information and intelligence.
The consortium has also looked into how this model could be applied to other areas of healthcare.
Category: Project results
Data Source Provider: ecancerHub
Document Reference: Warden, R. (2010) The Internet and science communication: blurring the boundaries, ecancermedicalscience. DOI: 10.3332/ecancer.2010.203
Subject Index: Information and communication technology applications ; Medicine, Health; Policies; Scientific Research; Social Aspects