A mental health project for ICU patients wins the TECSAM Network competition

A mental health project for ICU patients wins the TECSAM Network competition 1080 608 Mireia Córcoles
  • The I3PT ICURA project, which focuses on the telematic monitoring and management of patients suffering from post-intensive care syndrome, has won the first prize in the TECSAM Network's Mental Health Innovation Competition

The project ICURA, focused on the monitoring and management of patients suffering from sequelae related to the post intensive care syndrome has received the first prize of the Competition for Innovation in Mental Health of the TECSAM Network, in the "Innovative and disruptive ideas" category.

ICURA is a project of translational research group in the critical patient of the Parc Taulí Research and Innovation Institute (I3PT) which is developing one digitalform payment to monitor and manage patients who suffer emotional and cognitive sequelae due to their admission to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) online.

PICS, a syndrome that affects patients admitted to the ICU

Patients admitted to ICUs experience physical difficulties, but also cognitive alterations (such as attention or memory difficulties) i emotional problems (such as depression, post-traumatic stress or anxiety). These cognitive and emotional affects are part of the post intensive care syndrome ('PICS', by its acronym in English) and can be experienced weeks, and sometimes months, after discharge.

As he explains Sol Fernandez, principal investigator of the ICURA project, approximately 80% of patients suffer from PICS between 1 and 6 months after leaving the ICU. In addition, between 30 and 40% of these patients have persistent symptoms after these 6 months, and there are even cases that, after 5 years, still experience this syndrome. "The digital platform we are developing will offer, through a decision-making support algorithm, a personalized action plan for each patient which makes it possible to detect, manage and offer treatment guidance for these symptoms", says the researcher.

ICURA I would advise each patient different resources according to needs detected For example, it provides telematic monitoring, access to digital resources to promote physical exercise or relaxation at home, or referral, if necessary, to a specific medical specialty.

The project starts from one clinical study conducted with COVID-19 patients, thanks to a grant from the Carlos III Health Institute. Sol Fernández emphasizes that "during the pandemic we were able to monitor critical patients affected by the coronavirus and the experience has been very positive according to the professionals and the patients participating in the study". The researcher adds that now "it is necessary to demonstrate that this is viable and effective outside the pandemic".

An award-winning project

Until now, ICURA has received several recognitions and grants, such as obtaining the call from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III or the Teresa Escursell scholarship. Now, to these good results is added the first prize in the Innovation Competition in Mental Health of the TECSAM Network. As pointed out by the manager responsible for the project, Ismael Ávila, "this award will contribute to continuing to develop aspects of the project's valorisation, to bring ICURA ever closer to the market and, therefore, to the patient".

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