Scientists at Reykjavik University (RU) to lead a research project receiving a 15-million Euro Horizon 2020 grant

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Credit: Golli / Reykjavik University

Sleep Revolution, an interdisciplinary international research and development project, has been selected for a 15-million Euro grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Health, demographic change and wellbeing.

The project aims to revolutionize research, diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and related disorders. With almost 40 international collaborating partners from academia and industry, it will develop machine-learning techniques to better estimate the severity and treatment needs for OSA, to improve health outcomes and quality of life. With the commitment of the European Sleep Research Society and the Assembly of National Sleep Societies, with its over 8000 members, the project further aims to create new standardized international guidelines for sleep medicine.

The project involves building a powerful database consisting of data from sleep measurements of 30 thousand individuals, collected in Iceland and around Europe. Additional data will be collected utilizing smart watches, questionnaires, sleep-measuring devices, and neuropsychological tests. Furthermore, a safe digital platform will be developed for scientists, health professionals, and participants in OSA studies to share their data and research findings for research and diagnosis purposes.

Dr Erna Sif Arnardóttir, Director of the Reykjavik University Sleep Institute, President of the Icelandic Sleep Research Society and a board member of the European Sleep Research Society, who leads the project said “It is a tremendous honour to get this opportunity to bring together this large group of Europe’s leading experts and innovators in sleep research into one large research and development project to move the field into the forefront of digital healthcare. By using interdisciplinary methods and new possibilities in information technology and artificial intelligence, we aim to revolutionise how knowledge of OSA and other sleep-related breathing disorders, such as habitual snoring, is gained and used. We will shift the focus in analysis and treatment to the daily lives of people and pave the way for more individualized and personal health care.”

Dr Ari Kristinn Jonsson, President of Reykjavik University says that the grant is yet another confirmation of the quality of research conducted at the University: “We are extremely proud and look forward to continue building our sleep research with strong academic and industrial partners in the coming years.”

OSA is associated with various negative health consequences including increased risk of heart disease, hypertension and daytime sleepiness causing road accidents. The economic burden of OSA is on the rise as almost 1 billion people worldwide are estimated to have the disorder. The current diagnostic metrics and clinical methods, that are used to analyse symptoms and concurrent conditions often seen with OSA are outdated, expensive, and laborious, merely measuring the frequency of breathing cessation without assessing severity in other physiologically relevant ways. Due to this, the majority of OSA patients remain without diagnosis or may have sub-optimal diagnosis and treatment.

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Collaboration partners:

  • Reykjavík University, Iceland, Departments of Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology, and Sport Science
  • Nox Medical, Iceland
  • Sidekickhealth Iceland/Sweden
  • Ita-Suomen Yliopisto, Finland
  • The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Akershus Universitetssykehus HF, Norway
  • Universitetet i Oslo, Norway
  • Tartu Ulikool, Finland
  • European Sleep Research Society (ESRS)
  • Norsk e-helse AS, Norway
  • Universiteit Gent, Belgium
  • Goeteborgs Universitet, Sewden
  • Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen, Belgium
  • Ethniko Kai Kapodistriako Panepistimio Athinon, Greece
  • CHARITE – Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Ireland
  • Dimokritio Panepistimio Thrakis, Greece
  • Universite Grenoble Alpes, France
  • Panepistimio Kritis, Greece
  • EGE University, Turkey
  • Narodni Ustav Dusevniho Zdravi, Czech Republic
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Faculdade De Medicina Da Universidade DE Lisboa, Portugal
  • Universitaetsmedizin Der Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet Mainz, Germany
  • Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Italy
  • Universita Degli Studi Di Palermo, Italy
  • Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri Societa’ Per Azioni Societa’ Benefit, Italy
  • Praxis Dr. Hein, Germany
  • Wissenschaftliches Institut Bethanien für Pneumologie e.V., Germany
  • Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis, Greece
  • Universitatea De Medicina Si Farmacie Victor Babes
  • Timisoara, Rumania
  • Turun Yliopisto, Finland
  • Varsinais-Suomen Sairaanhoitopiirin Kuntayhtyma, Finland
  • Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris, France
  • Instytut Gruzlicy I Chorob Pluc, Poland
  • Centro Hospitalar de Sao Joao Epe, Portugal
  • Empatica srl, Italy

Media Contact
Eirikur Sigurdsson
eirikursig@ru.is

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