Dr Julie Doyle
Dr Julie Doyle is the director of the NetwellCASALA Research Centre on ageing and digital health at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Julie’s background is in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and digital health technologies, with a focus on designing and evaluating intuitive and useful health and wellbeing technologies for older adults and those who support their care. Julie has been a Principal Investigator on two Horizon 2020 projects, ProACT and SEURO, both of which examine how digital technology can support older adults to self-manage multiple chronic conditions at home. ProACT was a €4.87 million project which began in 2016. The aim of the project was to design, develop and trial a digital health platform, ProACT, to advance person-centred digital integrated care and self-management for older adults with multiple chronic conditions. The ProACT platform was trialled with 120 older adults across two EU countries. The outcomes were very promising including high engagement with digital self-management and benefits such as increased knowledge to support self-management, symptom stabilisation, changes to medications and more appropriate healthcare utilisation. The SEURO project, which began in May 2021 is a follow-up to the ProACT project. During SEURO, large-scale pragmatic randomised controlled trials will be conducted across three EU countries, including Ireland, to determine the effectiveness of the ProACT platform on improving quality of life and reducing unscheduled healthcare utilisation. Within both ProACT and SEURO, Dr Doyle and the team at NetwellCASALA led the design, development and trialling of the ProACT platform. The projects have been nominated for and won various awards, including most recently the Silver Eco and Ageing Well International Award in Cannes, France in September 2022.
I’m participating in the THEA mentoring programme as I think it’s a great support for anyone new to European funding. Personally, I’ve found that as a Principal Investigator on Horizon 2020 projects you gain such a wide range of skills, given the project size and their collaborative and often fast-paced nature. For the same reasons, these projects are also a fantastic learning experience for postdocs or other research staff, and can really help to advance career trajectories. However, it can be difficult to know where to start or how to get involved in European funding. The THEA mentoring programme is therefore a very welcome support. I would have found it very beneficial myself a few years ago.