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Barcelona Digital will lead the European project Synergy

by david.nunes

Barcelona Digital, a research center specialized in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and a TECNIO member (the network that promotes technology transfer and business innovation in Catalonia), will lead the R&D European project Synergy – Modelling and simulation environment for systems medicine: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a use case. The project obtained 14.5 points out of 15 and has been ranked third among more than 120 projects evaluated in the recent ICT’s Virtual Physiology Human call of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission. Synergy has a budget of 4.6 million euros and will be executed during a period of three years.

Besides Barcelona Digital as the project coordinator, the consortium comprises Biomax Informatics AG (Germany), Linkcare Healthservices S.L. (Spain), the Consorci Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (Spain), the Karolinska Institute (Sweden), the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of The University of Oxford (UK), the University of Birmingham (UK), Infermed Ltd. (UK) and the Technical University of Budapest (Hungary).

The Synergy project aims to study different functions of the human body using computer models at different levels (genes, molecules, cells and organs), which will be integrated among them.

Based on this integration, the project will develop a decision-support tool for doctors, allowing them to diagnose the progress of the disease in each patient.

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs causing shortness of breath. In contrast to asthma, the limitation of airflow is poorly reversible and usually gets progressively worse over time. In 1990 the overall mortality rate of COPD was in sixth place with 2.2 million deaths; it increased to 5 million deaths in 2004 and there will be a rising trend to become the third leading cause of death in 2020


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