Science & Research

Global study on long COVID launched as part of the DRAGON project

Global study on long COVID launched as part of the DRAGON project - article image

The University of Maastricht are leading one of the first global studies on long COVID as part of the DRAGON project, which is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

The study will gather information on symptoms from people who are over 18 and have had a confirmed COVID diagnosis in the past 6 months. The aim is to better understand the presentation of those symptoms, looking at frequency, intensity, duration, and recovery time, with a view to improving treatment recommendations, and improving the information that patients have access to in relation to their illness.

Participants will be recruited, informed and monitored using an app. The app is developed by the researchers and includes a series of questionnaires, which should be undertaken at defined points during a 12-month period.

Prof. Dr. Philippe Lambin from the University of Maastricht says: “According to several experts, as many as one third of people with COVID-19 have significant symptoms two months after diagnosis, yet long COVID is very poorly understood. Is it an autoimmune-disease or a long lasting viral disease? What are the long term symptoms and risks? To answer those questions we first need to gather data from the patients.”

Brice Van Eeckhout from Comunicare, the partner that designed and built the app, noted: “We still have limited insights on the evolution of long COVID symptoms and in the current context of an increasing number of infections, this global and de-centralised study on long COVID is more relevant than ever. The innovative platform on which the study is run will enable citizens to be properly informed, assess their preferences and knowledge, enrol and participate in the study”.

The DRAGON project is coordinated by the University of Maastricht with Radiomics as the Project Lead. Partners include the European Respiratory Society and European Lung Foundation, as well as high-tech small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), academic research institutes, and biotechnology and pharmacological organisations. The project will use AI and machine learning to deliver a patient-centred decision support system that will enable stakeholders to participate in the development of rapid precise diagnosis and prognosis.

This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 101005122.The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.

Interested in this project? Follow the DRAGON LinkedIn page