We build research infrastructure for the future
Emma Larsson at Gothia Forum in Gothenburg has worked with the research project SCAPIS for almost five years. She is responsible for coordinating work between the six participating cities, which means that she supports and coordinates local project leaders across the country. In Göteborg, the SCAPIS pilot study was conducted in 2012, and in the autumn of 2018 the last participants are taken in in the large-scale study.
Emma describes SCAPIS as a cool factory where each participating clinic, receives ten daily participants, every day for three years.
– It is fun working with such an incredibly large and unique research project that gets so much attention. It is also very stimulating to collaborate with so many different types of people, researchers as well as healthcare professionals who meet the participants. They really do a great job.
No given template to follow
SCAPIS is conducted by six different universities and in six different clinics, which means that there are many players involved.
– It has been a challenge not to have a given template to follow and we have had to find new ways. For example, not all locations had biobanks and no one has previously collected such large amount of image material.
Research infrastructure for the future
– I have become aware of the importance research infrastructure, how crucial it is both locally and nationally. When there is no common IT infrastructure, it is not easy to send data across county councils. Hopefully, SCAPIS has created ripples on the water. For example, the University of Gothenburg has set up new services that may be useful to other researchers with new projects in the future. This, I think, is the great legacy in addition to the research.
Emma says that she would like to continue working with infrastructural challenges.
– I would like to work locally but it has to go hand in hand with national work, we have learned that in the SCAPIS project. We have made strong connections with the rest of Sweden so there is a lot to continue to build on. I am attracted a lot by Sahlgrenska Life (see the fact box below), linking the healthcare and academy in very clear way.
Several years of image analysis
Images taken during the investigations have been examined by a doctor at the respective clinic. In order to get more consistent and quality-assured data with more parameters, new analyzes will be conducted
– It may be a question of looking further into everyone who has plaque in their vessels, which means about 15,000 of the participants, so it will be a big deal. We have therefore hired a person at Gothia Forum to coordinate this. We think it will take two to three years to analyze the image material.
The world’s most comprehensive information bank
Never before has so much data, images and test results been storedin an information bank in Sweden. When the study is completed, the information bank will be the most comprehensive in this field in the world.
– There is an incredible amount of material and endless possibilities for research. The steering group and the researchers who have been involved are now identifying the most important questions to answer based on the material.
A number of results have been published from the pilot, including the effects of a sedentary lifestyle and differences in health related to socioeconomics. Results from more material (about 15,000 participants) are currently being processed and will be published in the next year. Once the entire material is in place, in just over a year, the database will be made available to all researchers.
SCAPIS for better health and lifestyle
SCAPIS is supposed to help identify risk markers showing who may suffer from heart or lung disease. The researchers also want knowledge about how healthcare can go from general treatment to tailor-made and personalized treatment.
– I think that healthcare will be better at identifying those people who need early preventive measures to avoid disease. Healthcare will probably work more and more with preventive lifestyle changes.
The SCAPIS study approaches its final phase. In Umeå, the last participants will be recieved in the autumn.
– I think we will hear a lot about SCAPIS in the future. I think it is exciting that, for example, someone like Prince Daniel (Honorary Chairman of the Heart-Lung Foundation) is very engaged in SCAPIS. He wants to take advantage of the knowledge to educate young people about health and lifestyle. It can have a large impact, I think.
Sahlgrenska Life is a project that will enable collaboration between researchers and companies and help to implement new solutions in healthcare that will benefit patients and citizens.
The project includes four buildings of a total of approximately 115,000 square meters for life science, highly specialized care, research, education and business development.
The project is being developed by Västfastigheter together with Vitartes, Akademiska Hus, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg and Gothenburg City.