During the 2.5 years of the COVRINA project, 15 partners from 12 countries got together to merge their knowledge and expertise in creating a diagnostic toolkit to identify COVID-19 patients at risk of developing cardiovascular problems. The most significant deliverable of the project is COVIRNAdb – a database which represents a unique source of novel biomarkers and drug targets. Furthermore, the toolkit will be further examined to see how it can help in predicting cardiovascular complications in COVID- 19 patients, especially in patients with Long COVID. Even though the project has finished, the experts in the field, including researchers, policymakers and health professionals, will continue their work on promoting and developing diagnostic tools which will help patients with cardiovascular disorders.
During the final project meeting and conference held on April 19, 2023, in Brussels, Belgim, IUS COVIRNA Project Coordinator, Associate Professor Dr. Kanita Karađuzović – Hadžiabdić from the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) took part in a panel discussion on AI/RNA-based diagnostics during the final COVIRNA project conference “Improving Personalized Care and Patient Outcomes through Molecular Diagnostics and Therapy”. The conference had five panels, each of which covered a different subject, ranging from the European context of EU-funded projects to the benefits and applications of the COVIRNA toolkit, and how to move the research forward.
In addition, the participants discussed the project's achievements, challenges and applicability in other relevant areas. Some of the conclusions made at the conference highlighted the importance of health data, examples of COVIRNA as personalized medicine aimed at improving health outcomes and the importance of prevention over treatment. Dr. Yvan Devaux, COVIRNA Project Coordinator Luxembourg Institute of Health, pointed out that “It is not the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning. Let's come back to the European Commission with our plan to ensure the sustainability of the COVIRNA project in the long-term”.
Finally, the COVIRNA toolkit will be designed to help improve patients’ quality of life and reduce negative consequences. The toolkit can be applied to other health issues or future pandemics that might affect the heart. The experience and knowledge the partners gained during the project are a very powerful asset that can be further used in innovative applications in modern medicine.