Asystec proud to play their role in developing Moneta – A software tool to aid early identification of the risk of developing Dementia.

A few years ago Asystec took a step into the unknown and adopted a research proposal to attempt to use ‘Data Analytics’ to identify the early onset, or to assist with early diagnosis of dementia .  A project made even more compelling as my own Father in Law was going through a similar diagnosis, the desire to complete this project was great.  Having real life experience of the illness, the diagnosis process and impact to family uncertainty brought a reality and some focus for desired outcomes from the project

Funded by UK Government ‘Agency Innovate UK’, Asystec were lucky to pull together a number of passionate and highly intelligent subject matter experts to embark on a 3-year research project.  The project was named after the Greek Goddess of Memory,  Moneta would develop a user-friendly cloud-based software tool that will allow the stratification of currently healthy subjects for early identification of the risk of developing Dementia.

The project’s novelty stemmed from the development of a predictive modelling framework to extract patterns and causalities associated with Alzheimer’s disease from large and heterogeneous biomedical and other datasets. The analysed data will lead to the development and simulation of a probabilistic network model to provide causation and prediction allowing stratification of Alzheimer’s disease patient care. The model will be simulated using a high-performance computing cluster and a cloud platform and will provide decision support service in predicting the likelihood of developing the disease, and suggesting additional tests, treatment stratifications and interventions though a user friendly software interface.

From an early stage Asystec realised a collaborative approach was required to ensure the right level of experience and expertise were being made available.  Bringing together academia, industry experts, high performance compute / storage engineers and leading data scientists was a modern approach to an old problem. It would be almost impossible to bring together a single company approach to solve such a complex task, however we believed that relationship and collaboration could provide the right approach to success.

Asystec are delighted to see that the Moneta research project with the support of Ulster University, Clarke Analytics, Western Health and Social Care Trust and Nightingale Analytics is moving to the next critical stage of development.

Nigel Lambert who as appointed Project Monitoring Officer from Innovate UK statedI’m thoroughly impressed by the application development work completed by the Asystec team. Supporting early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is a crucial healthcare challenge so the risk assessment and predictive method proposed by this team is an incredibility exciting new development”.

The project also recently won the Ulster University Research Excellence Award for businesses under 50 people. The Awards,which took place at St Anne’s Cathedral Belfast, celebrate the transformational impact the university students, graduates and research project are having on societies and economies across the globe.

 

Ulster University has been awarded a contract by the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) eHealth Directorate to build an Online Decision Support Tool for accelerated diagnosis of dementia for use within the Northern Ireland Health Service (part of the NHS). This contract will enhance the core Moneta Research by extending the model to diagnose all forms of dementia and not just Alzheimer’s and it will be looking at how this tool can be integrated into a public health service.

The project is delivered under the Dementia Data Analytics programme (DARUG) which has been part funded by the NI Executive Office, Atlantic Philanthropies and Department of Health.

This Programme has two related strands – one of which is focused on building the capacity to collect and use dementia data to improve the planning and commissioning of efficient, effective and value for money dementia services, and to create a platform that can be utilised to enable data driven care-planning solutions across the health and social care system.

Between end of July to September HSCB eHealth called for Expressions of Interest for a number of “non-academic or real-life” data analytics projects aimed at improving our understanding of dementia in Northern Ireland and informing better services and support for people with dementia and planning for the future.

Altogether there were 47 requests for application packs and 13 submissions were received and the Ulster University Project was one of three full submissions funded.

Ulster University will be working with Nightingale Analytics, Northern Health and Social Care Trust and AgeNI.

The tool will also be utilised by the dementia team within an EU Funded Programme, the Centre for Personalised Medicine (https://www.ulster.ac.uk/cpm/home) which was established in April 2017 following an award of €8.6 million from the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (www.SEUPB.eu).

This project brings together a total of 14 partners from academia, health services and industry to create the environment needed for personalised medicine:  a research-based medical approach to guide clinical decisions to ensure a patient receives the right treatment at the right time.

Asystec would welcome the opportunity to discuss this project further.

– Ryan O’Donnell | Asystec Technical Manager