VPH-DARE@IT’s aim is to enable more objective, earlier, predictive and individualised diagnoses and prognoses of dementias to cope with the challenge of an ageing European society.

Currently doctors rely on basic cognitive tests and conventional brain scans to diagnose dementia, but these are not able to recognise the disease at an early stage. If a much wider range of markers can be identified which enable a better and earlier diagnosis, then doctors will have more time to delay the progression of the disease.

The expected impact of the project will influence the scientific, clinical and industrial communities across Europe and internationally to improve the healthcare of dementia patients. This would both improve patients’ quality of life, and also reduce the burden on carers and the costs of supporting people with dementia.

Measure of Success
Indicator of Impact
Overall clinical impact
More objective, standardised differential assessment.
Time lapse between the onset of cognitive and memory deficits and its first diagnosis.
Enable earlier diagnosis by reducing the current 20-months time lapse from first admission to diagnosis.
Scientific impact – dementia model
Deliver a systematic, multifactorial and multiscale modelling approach to understanding dementia;Explore the lifestyle and environmental factors that predispose to its development
At least 2 clinical and 2 technical landmark publications describing the VPH-DARE@IT strategy for multiscale multifactorial and multi-paradigm dementia modelling and its application/impact in brain disease.
Industrial impact
Technology uptake in the form of modules or systems: no. of patents and licence agreements.
At least one success story in the form of tech transfer agreements and patents available at the end of the project.
Fast concept-prototype-product cycle thanks to VPH development frameworks.
Dissemination impact
Dissemination to and engagement with the wider community.
Presence on the internet, existence of newsletters, production of a video for the general public, participation in wider dissemination events.
Training impact
Contribution to and organisation of training events.
At least yearly training events in three areas: software platforms (Developer / User Workshops), clinical uptake (e.g. Clinical Training Courses), general scientific dissemination (EIBIR Summer School).
Infrastructural impact
Open source platform for VPH modelling and image-based biomarker extraction in dementia available for the VPH community.
GIMIAS and Nifty well-documented & supported, integrated in VPH Toolkit, widely used in the community.
VPH-share infostructure demonstrates scalability and reusability with large databases in VPH-DARE@IT


Return on investment: The project will reduce the costs of supporting people with dementia.

Health technology assessment (HTA)

The project will develop a socio-economic and technology assessment method (HTA) that includes also a prospective clinical impact analysis approach. From a user, stakeholder and market perspective, this task will:

  • Develop upon and adapt in the VPH and other contexts proven approaches, methods and tools to the specific environment and objectives of this work package;
  • Establish a set of meaningful criteria and their measurement instruments and processes that are robust to demonstrate socio-economic benefit-cost impacts
  • Incorporate health economic considerations underlying the onset and the progression of dementia in a European context.

HTA will serve as a support tool delivering information useful for health system actors and decision makers to allow them to arrive at more factual, evidence-based decisions and policy measures. It will also support the project in developing business cases when implementing the VPH-DARE@IT models, tools and decision-support systems.

Led by empirica and supported by all project partners, this work will involve applying proven HTA methods, to be adapted towards the specific characteristics of VPH-related RTD. Results from work on verification of simulation model approaches, structures and functionalities will become a key HTA input. To support these goals VPH-DARE@IT will make use of the VPH-Share infostructure which provides a base for the deployment of  both computational and storage resources including a number of out of the box tools that will speed up the process to incorporate data, develop research workflows and support the clinical tools.