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Engineering Technology-based Innovation in Medicine

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Realising model-based therapeutics

Healthcare is becoming increasingly costly while the demand for individualised care is only rising. EU-funded researchers are working to affordably realise a solution to this through the application of model-based therapeutics (MBT).


MBT involves combining computer models of human physiology, clinical data and automation to give a holistic picture of a patient's clinical profile. These models could help tailor therapy to patients' needs and monitor their responses with minimal use of costly resources. Glycaemic control (GC), mechanical ventilation (MV) and cardiovascular management (CVS) are healthcare areas with a very high socioeconomic burden. Under the aegis of the ETIME (Engineering technology-based innovation in medicine) project, EU and New Zealand researchers are developing MBT to optimise healthcare in these areas. During the first two years of the project, they made significant progress. Impressively, they have already developed a clinically validated accurate GC protocol that improved care in several EU and New Zealand hospitals. This has now become the standard of care in Hungary. A commercial-grade version of this protocol is scheduled for development sometime in 2015. A first, ETIME has successfully developed and proven the efficacy of a model-based MV protocol in human clinical studies. This protocol will be further tested in a large randomised clinical trial in New Zealand. Another breakthrough is the development of a model-based CVS monitoring and diagnostic system with good results in ongoing animal trials. The model-based sensors are not only more accurate than the current state of the art, they also permit non-invasive, real-time direct measurement in patients. This model is also slated for human trials in the latter half of 2015. Project outcomes have resulted in the publication of 41 journal articles and 81 conference abstracts out of which 2 won best paper awards. ETIME has proven to be a fruitful research collaboration that has facilitated the adoption of new clinical and research methods in participating institutions. They have submitted 13 grant applications, demonstrating the sustainability of this international, multidisciplinary consortium. This also bodes well for patients as likelihood of successful translation of research results into clinical application is high.


Model-based therapeutics, healthcare, glycaemic control, mechanical ventilation, cardiovascular management

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