HORIZON EUROPE┋Towards a holistic support to children and adolescents’ health and care provisions in an increasingly digital society
This topic aims at supporting activities that are enabling or contributing to one or several impacts of destination 1 “Staying healthy in a rapidly changing society”. To that end, proposals under this topic should aim for delivering results that are directed at, tailored towards and contributing to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Children, adolescents and their parents/carers are educated and empowered in prevention strategies involving personalised approaches and solutions (also through the use of digital tools) to manage, maintain and improve children’s and adolescents' own health, physical activity, nutrition habits, leisure needs, mental and social well-being, in full respect of the privacy of individuals.
- Children and adolescents, including those from vulnerable contexts, monitor their health risks, adopt healthy lifestyles at home, at school and in the community and interact with their doctors and carers (receiving and providing feedback), also through the means of digitally enabled solutions, better health literacy, training and critical thinking.
- Thanks to better co-creation, training, digital and health literacy, children, adolescents, parents and carers across Europe access and use person-centred, widely available solutions for children and adolescents’ health, care and wellbeing, appropriate to a rapidly changing and increasingly digitalised society, also considering the risk of digital addiction.
The proposals should provide appropriate indicators to measure the progress towards the relevant expected outcomes.
Laying the ground for a healthy life starts in childhood. Accordingly, and in line with the HealthyLifestyles4All Initiative, the ‘Healthier Together’ – EU Non-Communicable Diseases Initiative, and the Communication of the Commission on enabling the Digital Transformation of Health and Care,, the main goal of the research and innovation should be to promote healthier societies by developing holistic solutions that foster healthy lifestyles from early age with long-term impact(s).
Digitalisation poses risks but can also be a driving force for empowering young citizens, who are growing up in an increasingly digitised world, in taking an active role in the management of their own health conditions, mental and social well-being, and promote healthy lives and disease prevention, through innovative solutions, coordinated person-centred care models and better health literacy.
The topic encourages the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as of European, national and regional authorities and civil society, in order to strengthen the scientific and technological expertise of SMEs in the health and care domain to promote the uptake of innovative health and care solutions in Europe.
The proposed research and innovation should focus on several of the following aspects:
- Develop and advance person-centred, evidence-based and coordinated disease prevention intervention solutions to support children and adolescents’ health and care in an increasingly digital society. The effectiveness of the intervention solutions should be evaluated, inter alia, in terms of health outcomes, (comparative) cost-effectiveness, implementation facilitators and barriers. The target group should include children and adolescents up to 25 years of age from different socio-economic backgrounds.
- Develop and integrate innovative, privacy preserving tools and technologies, such as (but not limited to) activity trackers, sensors, serious games, platforms and robotics, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in coordinated and integrated care models, to help children and adolescents lead healthy, active and social lifestyles, prevent diseases, as well as to better monitor and manage their physical, social and mental health. Empower children and adolescents to navigate the health and care systems, interact with their doctors, formal and informal carers, social circles, as well as better manage their own health at home, in the community and at school, taking into account specific youth psychiatric risk factors, the risk of addiction, as well as the geographic, social and economic determinants of health and digital literacy inequities.
- Stimulate the adoption of person-centred approaches and solutions for better health, care and well-being of children and adolescents, by including stakeholders from all the relevant sectors (including but not limited to education, leisure, social innovation, healthcare, Medtech, media and citizens) in the co-creation, design, planning and adoption of the solutions, as well as the training of their end-users.
- Develop and disseminate evidence-based guidance and tools for children and adolescents promoting healthy balance between a sedentary digitised lifestyle and a more active non-digitised lifestyle in support of their physical, mental and social health and well-being on short- and long-term basis.
- Develop, implement (pilot and/or scale-up) and promote person-centred tools and interventions for better physical and mental wellbeing, addressing the risks of digital addiction and overconsumption, isolation and mental illness, by promoting physical, intellectual or artistic activities, social interaction and providing mental health support and treatment.
In all instances, gender as well as demographic, geographic and socio-economic aspects should be duly taken into account.
This topic requires the effective contribution of social sciences and humanities (SSH) disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise and the involvement of youth throughout the project in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.
Moreover, greater involvement of non-health sectors directly affecting risk factors and determinants of health, for example (physical) environment, food and nutrition, security, education, sports, finance, industry is desirable/encouraged, as relevant.
Proposals should be highly integrated, ambitious, go beyond simple networking and provide appropriate indicators to measure progress and impact.
Selected projects under this topic are strongly encouraged to participate in joint activities as appropriate. These joint activities could, for example, take the form of clustering of projects and involve joint coordination and dissemination activities such as the participation in joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the development and adoption of best practices and adoption strategies on regional, national and European level. The details of these joint activities will be defined during the grant preparation phase with the Commission. Applicants should plan a necessary budget to cover this collaboration.
Applicants invited to the second stage and envisaging to include clinical studies should provide details of their clinical studies in the dedicated annex using the template provided in the submission system. See definition of clinical studies in the introduction to this work programme part.