MindTech is involved, as a University of Nottingham academic partner, in a major new European collaborative research programme RADAR-CNS that will explore potential of wearable devices to help prevent and treat depression, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.

RADAR-CNS (Remote Assessment of Disease and Relapse in Central Nervous System Disorders) RADAR CNS logois supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and was officially launched on 26 April 2016. Its aim is to develop new ways of monitoring major depressive disorder, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis using wearable devices and smartphone technology. The programme brings together experts from diverse fields including clinical research, engineering, computer science, information technology, data analytics and health services.

Continuous remote assessment using smartphones and wearable devices provides a picture of a patient’s condition at a level of detail which was previously unachievable. It could potentially allow treatment to begin before a patient’s health deteriorates, preventing the patient relapsing or becoming more ill before they seek treatment. Epilepsy, depression, and multiple sclerosis are distinct disorders, with different causes and symptoms, all of which can be severely detrimental to patients’ quality of life and life expectancy. For all three disorders, patients often experience periods where their symptoms are manageable, followed by periods of deterioration and acute illness (relapse). Patient surveys have repeatedly highlighted the need to predict when relapses will happen and to improve the treatments which are available to stop them from occurring.

RADAR-CNS runs from 2016 until 2021 and is jointly led by King’s College London and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (a Public Private Partnership established between the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the European Union Horizon 2010) and includes 24 partners from across Europe and the US.

MindTech will participate in RADAR-CNS as the University of Nottingham partner and will lead a work package on ‘Pathways’, which will investigate how remote monitoring technologies will best fit into the different clinical pathways for Depression, Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis, and what changes to existing pathways might be afforded by their introduction. This will involve investigating how these conditions are treated across Europe in order to understand how they can best be used to provide benefits in the healthcare system and to clinical professionals, and to determine its economic value to healthcare providers.

Other work packages in RADAR-CNS involve the three clinical themes and their coordination, the patient and regulator perspectives and the development of the device technology, software and data handling.

Further information about RADAR-CNS is available at the Horizon 2020 website and the full list of organisations involved in the project can be found at the RADAR-CNS homepage.

According to Professor Chris Hollis, Clinical Director of MindTech, “I am delighted that MindTech is part of the RADAR-CNS grant, and we hope to use our considerable strengths in healthcare technology research to the benefit of patients with central nervous system disorders.” Professor Richard Morriss and Dr. Michael Craven are the other MindTech investigators from the University of Nottingham Faculty of Engineering and Medical School.