The Foundation’s support for projects relating to the coronavirus epidemic now comes to a total of DKK 52 million.
Information campaign about COVID-19 aimed at ethnic minorities living in Denmark, Danish Refugee Council: DKK 2,650,000
The purpose of the project is to disseminate the Danish health authorities’ key messages about COVID-19 among citizens with an ethnic minority background. This will be done in their relevant native languages through online counselling (chat service), a hotline as well as information materials targeting residents in vulnerable areas, asylum centres etc. In addition, the project will launch a campaign on the social media aimed at young people and organize other ways of disseminating messages from the authorities, e.g. by having them read out aloud and possibly also using illustrations. The campaign will be coordinated with the Danish Health Authority and organized in collaboration with Als Research.
Assistance scheme for vulnerable children and families, Save the Children Denmark: DKK 2,337,525
The project will launch a nationwide assistance scheme for vulnerable children and families whose everyday life is challenged as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. There are families already living under difficult circumstances whose situation deteriorates critically at this stage. Volunteers at Save the Children will assist these families with shopping, activity and creativity packages to engage them in stimulating family activities, advice and guidelines for coping with this crisis, digital social contact as well as provide human contact and psycho-social support through a telephone hotline. The purpose is to safeguard the mental health and well-being among children in vulnerable families as well as to communicate the Danish Health Authority’s recommendations to these exposed citizens.
Identification of the contagion risk among recovered as well as deceased COVID-19 patients, Odense University Hospital: DKK 1,286,250
The purpose of the project is to examine for how long the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains contagious after the infection symptoms have stopped. Currently, a safety margin of 48 hours after cessation of the symptoms is being applied, but we actually do not know if this is sufficient. Moreover, there is uncertainty about the extent to which and for how long COVID-19 is transmissible from deceased persons, which is particularly relevant for personnel handling the deceased. In this project, tests will be carried out where fresh samples from living as well as deceased COVID-19 patients are transferred to lab-grown human cells. By observing the cells and taking measurements, it can be established whether the samples contain a transmissible virus. The expectation is that the project will give a more precise picture of the contagion risk in connection with this virus, and thus contribute to formulating effective guidelines for reducing the spread of the disease.
Applied Artificial Intelligence for real-time risk assessment of patients with COVID-19, Rigshospitalet: DKK 1,210,000
As the COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding, more and more patient data are generated. These can be used to develop new, data-driven decision support models for the benefit of future patients. Based on the latest knowledge about artificial intelligence (AI), analyses of patient records and courses of treatments, the project aims to create a model for estimating newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients’ risk of needing intensive care and ventilator breathing support based on the patient’s available health data. The hope is that such models can be used by frontline staff when dealing with new COVID-19 patients as well as by planners in the health service. In addition, the project will seek to identify patterns in the patient data that may form the basis for new recommendations on how best to treat COVID-19 patients in the future. The project team is centered around existing clinical and epidemiological research groups at Rigshospitalet and Bisbebjerg Hospital who have an interest in AI, with support from a team of AI experts from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen.
Establishment of a nationwide system for safeguarding health-professional competencies, Sorø Municipality: DKK 1,125,000
The project will provide e-learning facilities in a range of health-professional areas for newly recruited nursing staff in the municipalities of Denmark who, because of the COVID-19 epidemic, have an acute need of upgrading their skills before they can perform the municipalities’ nursing, health and home care services for their citizens. The platform used will ensure quick access to efficient learning without the need for physical presence. The platform will also enable management to monitor the status of the training digitally as well as get an overview of the competences that are available. Data will be collected for use in connection with similar acute situations in the future.
Acute need of counselling and information for mentally vulnerable citizens in connection with the Coronavirus epidemic, Psykiatrifonden: DKK 395,000
The purpose of the project is to upscale, with immediate effect, Psykiatrifonden’s existing counselling and information services for mentally vulnerable citizens in connection with the Coronavirus epidemic. Besides ensuring the necessary telephone and chat-based counselling, an information site will be established, providing specific and comprehensive advice on mental health during crisis situations. At the same time, the project will collect data from counselling talks, in order to be able to analyse and contribute with knowledge on what health-related consequences the Coronavirus epidemic has for people who are mentally ill or vulnerable, both now and in the future.
Back to school after the Corona pandemic, Danish Red Cross: DKK 211,732
There is a need to follow up on the extraordinary situation caused by the Coronavirus epidemic for school children across the country. In many cases, the teachers will be the first adults outside of the family to discuss the experience with the children. In order to address this, the project will develop a conversation tool that the teachers can use when the children return to school after the lockdown. The conversation tool will provide the teachers with various exercises that they can use, partly to open up to a discussion of sensitive issues and partly to make the pupils reflect on their own way of coping, once the schools reopen.
Clinical testing of low dosage cortisone treatment (applicable beyond COVID-19), Rigshospitalet: DKK 5,000,000
The project will enable Danish hospitals to examine if the use of cortisone for treating inflammations can help patients with COVID-19. The support for this project has been awarded outside of the emergency support programme. Read more about the project here.
Acute national research infrastructure for collecting blood samples for COVID-19, Statens Serum Institut: DKK 3,608,000
The project will establish an immediate, broad and national COVID-19 collaboration over the next six months, in order to collect diagnostic blood samples from hospitals across all of Denmark. The purpose is to build a unique research infrastructure with 500,000 biological samples from all types of patients, including patients with very early stages of COVID-19 infection, patients with acute and life-threatening infections and patients who have recovered from the infection. All biological samples will be made available, free of charge, for COVID-19-related research projects within the next two years.
The effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition and angiotensin II receptor blockade on the course of acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19 patients, Gentofte Hospital: DKK 3,335,000
Many of the most severely affected COVID-19 patients suffer from hypertension and/or diabetes. A majority of them take antihypertensive drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Through a randomized clinical trial and using Danish registers and databases as well as patient records, this project will determine whether it will be beneficial to continue or stop treating COVID-19 patients in need of hospitalization with RAS inhibitors.
GLYCOVID-19, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Herlev & Gentofte Hospital and Hvidovre Hospital: DKK 2,992,500
The project will investigate how COVID-19 affects the heart’s pumping function and the blood’s coagulation ability at various blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that one third of the patients who die from COVID-19 also suffer from diabetes. Changing the monitoring of glucose levels during intensive care can potentially have a negative effect on the heart’s function, especially in patients with high glucose levels prior to their admission. The project will examine diabetes patients as well as COVID-19 positive patients, both with and without diabetes, during the first 24 hours of their admission to intensive care. In addition, as many participants as possible will be examined four weeks after the emergency care has ended.
NOVO COVID-19 women in labour and newborns, Aarhus University Hospital: DKK 1,950,000
The purpose of the project is to examine a population of pregnant women and newborns while the COVID-19 epidemic is at its peak. During the current international health crisis, there is a great need to know more about COVID-19 (the disease) and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing the disease) among women who are pregnant and in labour as well as newborns. Even though pregnant women are not necessarily more susceptible to viral infections, it is well-known that the changes to their immune system and physical condition may be linked to a more severe course of illness than in non-pregnant women. The project is a follow-up study, where all pregnant women giving birth at Aarhus University Hospital and Kolding Hospital (Lillebælt Hospital) over a period of a couple of months will be included.
Fast-track implementation of an advanced web-based self-triage and assessment chatbot for COVID-19, Capital Region of Denmark’s Emergency Medical Services: DKK 1,531,827
The purpose is to develop, test and fast-track a national implementation of a chatbot for COVID-19 related questions. The primary purpose is to provide updated evidence-based online information for the citizens on how to handle COVID-19 suspect symptoms and provide relevant information on when and where to call for further medical advice or assistance. The secondary purpose is to reduce the call volume and workload on medical helplines like 1-1-2, the medical helpline 1813, out-of-hours services and the general practitioners. Finally, the chatbot will be able to deliver scientific data identifying the dissemination of COVID-19 in the general population.
Biomarkers for risk assessment of patients with COVID-19 – Interregional Biobank project, Herlev & Gentofte Hospital: DKK 1,372,200
The purpose of the project is to create a large, unselected biobank for patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19. The biobank will be used for 1) identifying and comparing established as well as experimental biomarkers for serious illness and death; and 2) building a risk model that includes one or more markers as well as clinical data. The risk model can be used to assess which patients are at risk of serious illness and which patients will require less intensive monitoring, possibly from their homes. The project is a prospective cohort study.
Remote glucose monitoring of patients isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic, Department of Endocrinology & Nephrology, Nordsjællands Hospital: DKK 1,105,755
The purpose of the project is to provide hospital staff with real-time insights into the development of blood glucose levels in COVID-19 patients and isolated diabetes patients through wireless glucose meters transmitting continual readings. Normally, hospitalized patients have their glucose level measured five times a day using traditional point-of-care equipment. Remote glucose monitoring of patients will reduce the need for protective equipment and save staff resources, and it enables fast intervention if the glucose level is either too high or too low.
Mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aarhus University Psychiatric Hospital: DKK 1,050,000
The project will map the extent of mental illness related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that the pandemic will have a negative effect on persons who live with or are at risk of developing mental illness. The first results will be available after approximately two weeks, and the project will therefore provide valuable information that can be used to alleviate the effects of the pandemic.
Establishment of temporary emergency shelter and soup kitchen for socially marginalized citizens in the city of Aarhus, the Danish Red Cross: DKK 730,000
The purpose of the project is to provide emergency accommodation and meals for the most vulnerable citizens in Aarhus. The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on social gatherings have had a dramatic effect on the living conditions for Aarhus’ socially marginalized citizens. Existing shelters have had to reduce their capacity, while some drop-in centres have closed altogether. Due to the risk of infection and the implemented restrictions on social gatherings, there is shortage of emergency accommodation and provision of meals under the current circumstances. To address this situation, the project will establish a temporary emergency shelter and a soup kitchen in Aarhus. The project is run by a consortium consisting of Danish Red Cross, DanChurchSocial, Blue Cross Denmark and The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark (Folkekirken).
Psychological consequences of COVID-19 among patients and their next of kin in Denmark, Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen: DKK 378,000
The purpose of the project is to uncover the psychological consequences of COVID-19. It is commonly known that during epidemics, there may be a rise in the occurrence of negative psychological reactions, observable among half of the exposed population. Through an interview survey, the project will examine people’s experience of being at risk of COVID-19, of being infected with the disease, as well as how it feels to have a next of kin who is seriously ill or who dies as a result of COVID-19. The project will describe the psychological reactions among patients and their next of kin and propose measures for mitigating the psychological consequences.
COVID-19 WARD, Rigshospitalet, Bispebjerg Hospital and Department of Health Technology, Technical University of Denmark: DKK 3,909,009
The project will develop intelligent wireless 24/7 monitoring of high-risk patients with COVID-19. The system is intended to ensure early identification of deterioration and a significant reduction in patient contact, infection, the use of personal protective equipment and the need for human resources. The monitoring will start in the next 2 weeks.
Proactive protection of inpatients with COVID-19 lung disease – Pro-Lung-COVID trial, University of Copenhagen and Capital Region of Denmark: DKK 2,162,646
The project will examine whether internal medicine patients hospitalized acutely who have tested positive for 2019-nCoV can benefit from treatment with the drug hydroxychloroquine, which is used to combat viral infection, and the antiviral, immunomodulatory and antibacterial drug azithromycin. The aim is to find a treatment that can reduce hospitalization time, the number of admissions to intensive care units and mortality.
ECHOVID-19, University of Copenhagen, Herlev & Gentofte Hospital and Bispebjerg & Frederiksberg Hospital: DKK 1,780,000
The project is a prospective clinical study to investigate, among other things, whether cardiac ultrasound scanning and lung ultrasound examination can predict which patients are at high risk of: developing acute pulmonary failure; being admitted to an intensive care unit; or other acute deterioration when hospitalized for COVID-19. The study will also provide unique insight into how COVID-19 infection affects the heart, since all patients will also have a thorough heart examination when the infection is over. The study includes patients admitted to most of the Capital Region’s hospitals with a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
COVID-19 information initiative, Mino Denmark: DKK 933,104
The project will develop a digital platform that will enable information from Denmark’s public authorities on the ongoing coronavirus epidemic to be rapidly translated for minority language groups in Denmark. The goal is to translate the government’s most important public announcements in up to 30 languages within 12 hours.
DaneAge Association hotline for older people: DKK 495,000
The project will set up a telephone hotline for older people, where volunteer phone buddies ring those who want to talk. The aim is to help reduce loneliness and the feeling of isolation at a time when we cannot get in touch by other means.
Monitoring of infections and infectious diseases, Statens Serum Institut: DKK 10,000,000
The project will develop a digital solution that will be able to detect and respond to new infectious disease threats more rapidly. An improved digital solution is essential to give both individual doctors and Denmark’s emergency preparedness and response authorities easy access to relevant electronic data, thereby enabling them to rapidly assess how to respond to outbreaks of diseases and infections and prevent the transmission of infection.