€6.7m HORIZON 2020 WARIFA Project: AI and Prevention of Chronic Conditions Launched

WARIFA – Watching the risk factors: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the prevention of chronic conditions – is a research project funded by EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 (GA 101017385). The primary goal is to define a general personalised early risk management tool that will be used to support individual preventive measures for noncommunicable diseases. This system will be accessible for individual citizens and patients on their smartphone via the WARIFA app. The AI based technology developed in the project could also be embedded in other third-party apps in the near future.

Thanks to this risk management tool and its automatic processing of both user-generated and ubiquitous data, citizens will be informed about the risk of developing a certain disease which they previously may not have been aware of. A special feature of the WARIFA tool will be the possibility to advise citizens who are at risk of getting several diseases at the same time. Recommendations addressing the different diseases will be merged and balanced in order to avoid conflicting advice.

The WARIFA app will be conceived with a user-friendly graphic interface helping to assess the need for preventive measures on an individual and person-centred basis. Furthermore, the AI tool will provide a personalized set of recommendations on lifestyle according to the individual risk profile. Citizens are motivated to improve unhealthy habits while good lifestyle choices are supported. Those individuals at a very increased risk are advised to get in touch with the health care system.

The main focus areas of the project are the prevention of melanoma skin cancer by reducing unhealthy sun exposure, and the prevention of the complications of diabetes by improving lifestyle risk factors such as unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

MTU Researcher Dr. Mohammed Hasanuzzaman says,

“The WARIFA project has huge potential to make a positive impact on Irish public health. The total number of people living with diabetes in Ireland is estimated to be a quarter of a million. An alarming number (854,165 according to the Healthy Ireland survey) of Irish people are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. People who are aware of the risks have a good chance of preventing the disease by lifestyle intervention. The research project will provide a self-monitor tool and individual recommendations to citizens, including vulnerable, high-risk, or ‘hard to reach’ groups for preventive measures to adopt healthier habits and a better lifestyle”

The WARIFA Project consortium

The WARIFA project started on the 1st January 2021; its multi-disciplinary international consortium includes a total of 12 partners from 6 countries and represents expertise within AI technology, e-health, preventive medicine, clinical medicine, epidemiology, sociology, psychology, biostatistics, communication and dissemination. The partners that will implement WARIFA in the next 4 years are: The Norwegian Centre for E-health Research (Norway) – coordinator, Munster Technological University (Ireland), University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” Bucharest (Romania), UiT The Arctic University of Norway (Norway), University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), University of Oslo (Norway), CiaoTech Srl (Italy), Netsun Software Srl (Romania), National Research Council (Italy), Rey Juan Carlos University (Spain), Sensotrend Oy (Finland), Norwegian Melanoma Association(Norway).

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Mohammed  Hasanuzzaman– Principal Investigator, MTU

Lecturer

Room no. J102, Melbourne Building

Dept. of Computer Science

Munster Technological University (Cork Campus)

Cork, Ireland

Ph: +353-214335856

e-mail: mohammed.hasanuzzaman@cit.ie