Healthy Aging

Through Internet Counselling

in the Elderly



Collaborative project co-funded by the European Unions' Seventh Framework Programme (FP7, 2007-2013) under grant agreement No 305374.

flag European Union   logo FP7 Cooperation


University of Cambridge, Department of Public Health and Primary Care is one of Europe’s leading academic departments of population health sciences, top-ranked in Epidemiology and Public Health in the UK Research Assessment Exercise 2001-2008. It has been headed by Professor John Danesh since 2001 and comprises over 300 staff and graduate students. Groups in the Department are underpinned by major programme grants, exemplifed by those from the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Cancer Research UK, the UK National Institute of Health Research, the European Union, the US National Institutes of Health, industrial partnerships, and several other sources.

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Novapten (NVP) is a French SME created in 2005. It is specialized in innovation management and operation of collaborative projects. Aiming at working in many fields and at different stages of Research, Development and Innovation, it creates ad hoc teams, integrating expertise which appears to be relevant for a given project. Novapten has worked before in the field of healthcare, for instance coordinating a project involving several hospitals from APHP (Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris), SMEs, a large company, research teams in management sciences and public funding. This was a large scale experimentation of RFID within healthcare. NVP has also direct experience in developing tools for research. Indeed, it has developed software to manage experimental protocols, for an INSERM research team. The platform it will develop in the HATICE project will be a valuable tool that NVP could propose to its clients when hosting, operating or supporting a collaborative project.

NVP's contribution to HATICE project will involve a team of five people led by Yannick Meiller and Marc Boyer. Part of the team will be located in Toulouse, in order to be close to INSERM. Both the experience of its founder and the history of NVP have led to a strong relationship between the company and scientific research. On the one hand, scientific research (and development and innovation) is a sector of application for NVP's services and tools. On the other hand, NVP is committed to scientific research for the development of its own tools and services. The input of NVP as a WP leader for WP 2 is highly suitable for this SME-targeted project. The Scientific background of both Dr Meiller and Dr Boyer will be very useful to bridge the gap between academia and SME.

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University of Eastern Finland, Dept. of Neurology, has long experience of epidemiological, clinical and experimental research in various fields concerning neurodegenerative disorders, cerebrovascular disorders, neuropathology, genetics, and clinical drug development. It offers opportunities for collaborative work on national and international level, and provides excellent working facilities with access to the most modern techniques and methods. A multidisciplinary perspective is guaranteed by the presence of scientists from different fields.

The Neuroepidemiology group at the Department of Neurology, UEF is at the forefront of international collaborative efforts to solve the clinical and public health problems of early identification of individuals at increased risk of late-life cognitive impairment, and of developing intervention strategies to prevent or delay the onset of cognitive impairment and dementia. The Cardiovascular Risk factors, Aging and Incidence of Dementia (CAIDE) study was initiated and conducted here. CAIDE is internationally one of the very few studies with a large and representative population-based cohort, a long follow-up time (up to three decades), and measurements of several risk factors and health-related outcomes from midlife to late-life. Following results from CAIDE, the Neuro-epidemiology group has taken the next step and initiated the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER). The Kuopio centre is the largest among the 6 FINGER centres. The Department of Neurology at UEF is also collaborating with the Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine and the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki (THL) on the ongoing four-year exercise and dietary intervention study Dose-Responses to Exercise Training (DRs EXTRA) and the FINRISK cohort surveys (large population-based surveys carried out since 1972 every five years using independent, random and representative population samples from different parts of Finland). The Neuro-epidemiology group at UEF has been actively working to integrate research on cognitive impairment and dementia-related diseases into the FINRISK database for monitoring of risk factors for chronic diseases.

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INSERM U1027 is a joint research unit of INSERM and the University of Toulouse III. The INSERM-University of Toulouse Research Unit UMR1027 has 33 full-time staff with 19 full professors and 4 senior researchers. From 2005 to 2009, the Unit published 749 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. Public health analyses include etiological research of age-related disease with a life-course epidemiological approach, assessment of preventive interventions, and prognosis of chronic diseases and disabilities using population-based cohort designs. The team directed by Prof.Sandrine Andrieu ("Aging and Alzheimer's disease, from observation to intervention", evaluated A+ by AERES) will support the present study given the unique experience developed over the years in designing multi-domain interventions for older adults (in e.g. the PLASA and MAPT studies). Working closely with the Toulouse Gerontopole (headed by Prof B Vellas) results from research activities are highly clinically-oriented, allowing their easy and direct implementation into daily clinical practice and, in general, to public health. This network composed of local and regional actors in the healthcare pathway for older persons enables over 30,000 older patients every year to benefit from clinical care and innovations from clinical research. The Gerontopole Research and Clinical Centre and the UMR1027 have allowed the successful design and conduction of large intervention studies.

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The Aging Research Centre (ARC) is an internationally renowned multidisciplinary centre – a collaboration between the Karolinska Institute (KI) and Stockholm University – where researchers from various disciplines (medicine, sociology, psychology) study complex aging processes from different perspectives. ARC research activity concerns brain aging and dementia, health status, and multi-morbidity. In a recent KI ERA (External Research assessment) evaluation, ARC was one of the very few KI centres graded as Outstanding. Together with the Stockholm Gerontology Research Centre and the Swedish Dementia Centre (), ARC is part of the House of the Aging Research, focusing on the study of elderly persons' health and living conditions, as well as provision of public care and services.Aging Research Centre

The main tasks of the centre are research, information sharing and education on aging-related issues, and it has broad national and international networks with other research centers, community and policy makers. ARC is responsible for large databases from population-based studies on aging and health (Kungsholmen Project, SNAC-K, and SWEOLD), and other large databases (Betula, CAIDE and HARMONY) on cognitive aging are also available through national and international collaborations. ARC promotes doctoral and post-doctoral education to form a new generation of researchers on aging. Since January 2008, ARC is responsible for a National Graduate School on Aging Research. The centre has the main responsibility for the SNAC-K study and it is involved in planning the cognitive training and statistical analyses in the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER).

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