Régine Steegers-Theunissen, Netherlands
Prof. Dr Régine Steegers-Theunissen, epidemiologist, medical doctor and chair of Periconception Epidemiology at the Erasmus MC. She is an (inter)national pioneer in periconception health research, care and innovations of digital and blended lifestyle care. Her research interests relates to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease paradigm with a focus on the periconception period as “earliest window of the life course” involving the role of lifestyle, 1C metabolism and epigenetics in the complex pathophysiology of birth defects, low birth weight and subfertility. She is principle investigator of the ongoing Rotterdam Periconception cohort (Predict study, >2009) embedded in patient care with a focus on periconception parental health determinants, epigenetics, and periconception- and long term health outcomes in mother and child. She initiated and implemented successful preconception outpatient clinics for tailored nutrition and lifestyle counselling (2007) and blended lifestyle care (2018). From 2003 onwards several web-based eHealth coaching programmes on the mobile phone have been developed and implemented: www.slimmerzwanger.nl (Smarter Pregnancy), release 2011, vs 4.0 in 2020 acknowledged by the RIVM), www.slimmeretenmetjekind.nl, release 2014, www.mijnleefstijlzorg.nl/programmas/vervolg, release 2020. In 2021 the digital Erasmus MC life course care platform has been released to provide integrated patient journeys of lifestyle-, medical and social care and research. The loyalty program www.SnellerZwangerWorden.nl has been released and will be tested in the coming year to increase the uptake of preconception lifestyle care of vulnerable women. The success of Smarter Pregnancy has been demonstrated in a large population based survey, randomized control trials in (sub)fertile populations, and in the Predict Study. Smarter Pregnancy has also been successfully tested by UCL in London (UK) and RCTs in obese women are ongoing. From 2019 she is Erasmus MC lead of the Convergence flagship My Digital Twin. Currently she is partner in the EU projects LIFECYCLE (Horizon2020), DohArt-net (ITN), and JPI Precise (ERA). Her ultimate aim is to improve health of current and future generations in the periconception period as the earliest time window of the life course. She is (co)author of > 435 international publications, H-index 57 WoS.
Ambitious new project as part of the Convergence of Erasmus MC, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam: My Digital Twin. ‘We want to collect large amounts of data, generate knowledge from that, and use that knowledge to develop products that improve healthcare. These products are intended for healthcare providers, the colleagues around them, and patients and their immediate surroundings. ‘We start by collecting the data, building the necessary infrastructure. the design of the algorithms used to analyze the data. And finally, we need to bring the knowledge gained from those analyses to the benefit of patients and caregivers.