25 September 2020

Fifth annual meeting for APPROACH gathers over 50 project members online to share progress of their work and plans for the future

The annual meeting provides consortium members with the opportunity to come together and discuss insights into the progress of the study, as well as to share challenges and come up with ideas for solutions.

Over 50 members of the APPROACH consortium from 17 partner organisations participated in the fifth annual project meeting which took place online on the 15th of September. The meeting included sessions focused on the progress of the study, patient engagement, project communications and management. Various representatives from all work packages shared updates on topics such as data storage, machine learning and data analysis, biomarker discovery, validation and testing, cohort description and recruitment procedures.

Inmaculada Aguilera, Project Officer at the funder of APPROACH - the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), was present at the meeting and shared the IMI perspective toward the current progress of the APPROACH project. Moreover, she touched upon the experience of the IMI with the various projects it supports and, more specifically, the way their activities and research have been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

All members from the Patient Council (PC) were present at the digital APPROACH annual meeting and held a session on patient engagement. During this session, the PC chair, Jane Taylor from Versus Arthritis, discussed the experience of the APPROACH PC with patient engagement on the project and stressed the crucial role of the PC in promoting patient engagement and improving the visibility of the project among patients and the general public.

The APPROACH consortium looks forward to the next Annual meeting, which could be, hopefully, organised in person in 2021. We would like to thank everyone who contributed to all the constructive and exciting sessions last week, albeit from a distance!