Smart measurement technology for oncologic patient care

Smartwatch smart technology

The Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) is organizing a second thematic call ‘smart measurement technology for oncologic patient care’ to accelerate this relatively new field. 

Problem

The number of patients living with (the consequences of) cancer as well as the population identified with a high-risk of developing cancer is increasing and at the same time different types of smart measurement technologies with potential opportunities for these patient groups are being developed. Smart measurement technologies include biosensors, wearables and (smart) eHealth. Unlike data collected at a single clinic visit, smart measurement technologies can collect an abundance of real-time data that can be utilized for various purposes in oncologic care. Moreover, minimal invasive measurements require less visits to the hospital, which affects quality of life, but also has logistical and societal impact.

Now is the time to connect the world of technological possibilities to the challenges that are identified in clinical practice. To achieve this, multidisciplinary teams are required to advance validation and implementation in practice. We need to implement impact driven projects rather than technology driven projects. Clinicians identify the unmet clinical need for their patients, but lack the expertise of advanced technologies, whereas technical developers have the expertise, but often lack the knowledge to translate it to a clinical application in the field of oncology. This call aims to build a bridge between these two worlds and expertise.

Aim

The aim of this call is to stimulate further development and clinical implementation of smart measurement technology to provide diagnosis and monitoring of oncological patients in a minimal invasive manner.

Ambition 

The Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) wants to give an impulse to this field with high potential- smart measurement technology. To do so, KWF stimulates the collaboration of an interdisciplinary team of (technological, societal, or biomedical) researchers, patients, healthcare professionals, and potential industry to initiate a kickstart for the further development of smart measurement technologies in oncological care. As such, the focus of this call is the utilization of smart measurement technology to aid screening and diagnosis of high-risk population/groups, and monitoring of patients living with (the consequences of) cancer. We envision multidisciplinary teams with nationwide representation, that fulfil the unmet clinical needs and reach the next developmental phase on its way to daily practice. The proposal will be preceded by a pre-proposal stage, which allows prioritization if necessary.  

Requirements:

  • Research type: consortia (at least 4 (multidisciplinairy) participating parties).
  • Research phase: credentialing – clinical (starting from TRL 2).
  • Participating parties: all required expertise including at least 1 technical researcher (demonstrated scientific technological background) and at least 1 (bio) medical researcher. Public/Private collaborations are possible, for-profit private partners can participate (see additional conditions).
  • Clear developmental and sustainability plan applicable especially for oncological care. The development plan clearly describes the route to implement the finding into clinical practice. In the sustainability plan it is described how this idea can fit into the current care setting and can be scaled up nationally.
  • A project manager must be appointed.
  • Including patient participation throughout the project is mandatory.

Recommendations and considerations for applicants and reviewers

  • Involvement of (psycho)social researchers are encouraged.

Within scope:

  • Examples of smart measurement technology; smartwatch, dipstick, patches, tabletop devices.
  • Repurposing of existing (validated) techniques for clinical questions.
  • Development of new technology for unmet clinical needs.
  • (Early) diagnosis of (recurrent) disease and monitoring during therapeutic interventions and/or patient selection for therapeutic interventions.
  • AI as support for the project, however not as an isolated tool.

Out of scope:

  • Purely technology driven projects.
  • Explorative projects with no connection to a clinical question.
  • Single center initiatives.

Additional conditions (in addition to the standard KWF funding conditions)

If the for-profit private partner, larger >250 FTE, has an active role within the project, this party is considered a participating party and to this end must make a financial contribution: this is 10% co-financing of the KWF requested budget (in kind/in cash), of which at least €10,000 in cash.

Evaluation

KWF uses three review criteria: relevance, scientific quality and feasibility. In addition, the emphasis of this thematic call will be the interaction of an interdisciplinary team and including patient (organizations) participation. A special review committee will be selected for this call, consisting of experts in relevant areas. Additionally, the full proposal will also be reviewed by the patient advocacy committee (PACO).

Timeline

Call opens: 28 February 2023
Pre-proposal phase closes: 25 April 2023 (12.00 noon)
Full proposal opens: 13 June 2023
Call closes:  7 September 2023 (12.00 noon)
Funding decision:   December 2023

Submitting

Please submit your project proposal via KWF Grant Management System.

Indicative budget and duration:

The indicative budget is 3 - 5 million euro. Budget indication per proposal: €800k - €2M.

Project duration indicative: 2 - 5 years

More information:

Specific guidelines on the process, characteristics and eligibility terms for the Thematic Call will be based on the current KWF Guidelines and Funding conditions.

Guidelines will include specific information on application requirements, preferences and recommendations, review procedure and timelines.