Ana Ortega Gil, Digital Health Researcher from ADLIFE Co-ordinating Partner Kronikgune Institute for Health Services Research, has been selected as one of the 35 MIT Innovators Under 35 Europe 2022 Award winners. This prestigious award is being celebrated at a celebratory festival on 19th and 20th May 2022 in Ireland – read more about this here and via the dedicated Twitter handle @EmtechEurope. 

Ana’s nomination was driven by her designs for digital decision aids which embody the paradigm shift from discrete, reactive care problem solving to proactive decisions modulated by the overall health outcome to which they respond: quality of life, quality of death, quality of care.

Ana constructed a health outcomes framework for people over 55 with chronic diseases (heart failure and COPD), and derived rules of thumb to classify any recommendation provided by a clinical decision support module according to the health outcome to which it contributes. This classification highlighted the need for health outcome-based system designs to expand and extend the standards for health data exchange.

In relation to the ADLIFE project, Ana met this need for decision support modules in ADLIFE through three strategies: linking evidence-based clinical guidelines to health outcomes; designing predictive models (malnutrition, avoidable admissions, depression, dependency and hypotension); and designing aids to engage patients and professionals in shared decision making and advance care planning.

The MIT Technology Review’s “35 Innovators Under 35” list is an annual recognition of those who are advancing technology from the status quo to its future. Each year more than 500 people are nominated, and from this group the editors choose the 100 most promising to move on to the semi-finalist round. Their work is evaluated by a panel of judges, experts in areas such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, software, energy and materials. Using the information gathered from these rankings, the editors choose the final shortlist of 35.

They are looking for people whose superb technical work promises to shape the coming decades. The aim is to recognise the development of new technologies or the creative application of existing ones to solve the world’s biggest problems. It rewards ingenious and elegant work that is important to the world at large, not just to colleagues in a particular field or industry. The global list was created in 1999 in honour of MIT Technology Review’s centennial, and in 2010, it expanded its search for the most promising innovators by organising regional editions of the list. There are regional versions in Latin America, Europe, China, India, Asia-Pacific and MENA. Winners of the regional lists are automatically considered for the global list.

The winners of the European list and their projects were presented at the EmTechs Europe festival (19-21 May, Gaoth Dobhair, Ireland), culminating in a gala banquet to celebrate their work. This award is a truly wonderful accolade for Ana and her ADLIFE consortium colleagues are immensely proud of her achievement and are excited to have such talented and innovative technologist working with within the ADLIFE project.

Ana Ortega-Gil