Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

Smartwatch for treatment adherence of hiv-infected patients

Improve treatment adherence in chronically ill adolescents using a smartwatch with a cloud-based medication management platform (METT project).

Life-long treatment adherence is a major challenge for patients with a chronic disease such as an hiv infection and even more so for children and adolescents. Treatment support via self-management tools is promising in increasing treatment adherence, improving health and reducing co-morbidities, mortality and health-care related costs.

In the Netherlands hundreds of hiv infected adolescents are treated with medication for their hiv infection. The main goal and state-of-the art treatment for a hiv infection is a continuous life-long suppression of hiv that can be achieved by consequent daily intake of anti-hiv medication. If the medication intake occurs on an irregular base, the hiv virus will become resistant to the used medication rapidly and alternative treatments are needed (which are limited in number). In practice it turns out to be very difficult for hiv children and adolescents to sustain to this strict policy.

In this METT project, we will evaluate the use of a cloud-based medication management platform named Emma to increase treatment adherence in hiv-infected children and adolescents. Emma makes use of sending medication intake reminders via a smart-watch or a mobile phone. Via Emma users can create their self-chosen community (including family members, peers and friends) that has insight in the drug intake of the user and can support the user. It is this last feature of Emma that makes it unique from other non-personal support systems and has shown proven effectivity in adults with chronic illnesses such as hypertension. This is a pilot study that is developed to evaluate the feasibility of Emma for use in hiv-infected children and adolescents (as a proxy for other chronically ill children and adolescents) and the effectivity of Emma to increase treatment adherence and quality of life in this group.

This project serves as a pilot study and will be applied in a larger set of chronically ill adolescents (with chronic kidney disease, chronic lung diseases and diabetes). For this (pilot) study, a new collaboration has been initiated between the AMC and Medicine Men as partners. The AIDS fonds is a full collaborator in this project, and supports this project. In summary, this project facilitates close collaboration between public, commercial and private sectors that aims to improve this widely occurring health care problem and that has the potential to be exemplary for improvement of self-management of other chronic diseases.