Release date: 2018-01-31

Neck and Low Back Pain (NLBP) will have personalised computer models and in-silico systems for well-being


Location: Valencia, Spain.

On January 30th and 31st , Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) hosted the Kick-off meeting of Back-UP project, an ambitious project funded by European Commission with thirteen European partners and over 5,1M € budget.

NLBP is a leading cause for years lived with disability in Europe and worldwide.
About 70% of all adults experience NLBP at some point in their lives, and both conditions are among the top ten in terms of overall disease burden expressed as disability adjusted life years.

Moreover, low back pain is the leading cause work absence in Europe, and it causes an enormous burden on individuals, industry and governments.

Management of NLBP is a difficult challenge for healthcare professionals and prevention services in this field, since their decisions have a decisive impact on the patient’s future health and welfare, as well as on the economic burden on the public and private healthcare systems.

The aim of Back-UP project is to create a prognostic model to support more effective and efficient management of NLBP, based on the digital representation of multidimensional clinical information, and in-silico assessments of possible interventions.

Patient-specific models will provide a personalized evaluation of the patient case, using multidimensional health data from the following sources:

  • Personal, health, psychological, behavioural, and socioeconomic factors related to NLBP.
  • Biological patient characteristics, including musculoskeletal structures and function, and molecular data.
  • Workplace and lifestyle risk factors.

The outcomes of the system will be:

  • Prognostics on recovery probability and time, depending on the administered intervention.
  • Risk of recurrence after recovery.
  • Simulation of affected musculoskeletal function during and after recovery.
  • Costs associated to NLBP management and return to work.

Helios De Rosario, Project Director, affirms: ’This project will be able to design an evidence-based protocol to support an improved prognostic assessment of NLBP. This will support personalized plans of intervention for recovery and adaptation of workplace. The consortium is strong, well-built and motivated, so we expect a profitable collaboration. Back-UP will last three years, but the work has been intense from the very beginning.’

Next consortium meeting will be in Throndheim, at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Besides IBV (Project Coordinator, Spain) and NTNU (Norway), other partners are: GMV Soluciones Globales Internet SAU and MAZ Mutua De Accidentes De Trabajo Y Enfermedades Profesionales De La Seguridad Social Nº11 (Spain); CIOP-POB Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy – Panstwowy Instytut Badawczy (Poland); The University Of Sheffield and University Of Keele (UK); Roessingh Research And Development Bv (Nederland); Karolinska Institutet (Sweden); Università Degli Studi Di Parma and Università Degli Studi Di Padova (Italy); EMPIRICA Gesellschaft Fuer Kommunikations- Und Technologie Forschung Mbh (Germany); GENOS Doo Za Vjestacenje I Analizu (Croatia).