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DECIDE Social impact

As the DECIDE service is meant to be mainly exploited in the clinical praxis, its social impact is expected to be important in the longer-term perspective: dementia and its most common form, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), represent one of the toughest scientific, health, and social care challenges of our time.

. It also represents an important cost for national health systems, a cost that is expected to grow increasingly aging society: according to the latest estimates of EU, currently there are 7.3 million Europeans living with dementia and about 35.6 million people worldwide and this number is estimated to nearly double over the next 20 years to 65.7 million people in 2030.

In 2008, the total cost of illness of dementia disorders in the European Union was estimated to 160 billion. These figures can help explain why dementia is believed one of the major challenges Europe will tackle in the next few years, and how the DECIDE approach can help turning this challenge into an opportunity. Using a distributed infrastructure allows clinicians to resort to advanced techniques to perform very early diagnoses from wherever they work, without the need to move the patient to large hospitals and, most importantly, without the need to own and maintain the infrastructure and datasets used by the algorithm in the statistical computation. This allows to dramatically widen the potential pool of clinicians who make use of cutting-edge diagnostic tools, nowadays limited to important reference research and healthcare centers that can build in-house proprietary infrastructures and collect enough relevant datasets to be used as controls.

On the other hand, this model offers the possibility to create economies of scale when dimensioning the service, an aspect that national health systems may well be interested in exploiting. However the DECIDE approach should not only be considered as a way to save public money, being new biomedical technologies and models of health services an invaluably powerful engine for the promotion of the economy in the EU and outside

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Seventh Framework Programme - Eurpean Commission

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