Boosting innovation in the early detection of hearing loss in children within SUDOE space: Towards a personalized medicine based on Genomic diagnostic tools

Hearing loss is a public health problem not only because of its repercussion on the cognitive, emotional, academic and social development of the child, but also because of the high costs it generates in healthcare systems (> 3500 euros / child). Epidemiologically affects five in every thousand children (WHO).

In the SUDOE space, it is estimated that in 2014 there was a potential affected population of 264 334 children (INE, PORTADA, INSEE).

Hypoacusis is caused mainly by the alteration of one or a few genes, so the genetic tests are very useful both for its diagnosis, to predict its nature, evolution and to define personalized treatments. In addition, they avoid carrying out other more expensive and longer tests, which represents a reduction in costs and provides important benefits for patients. Despite all this potential, there are no validated genetic tools yet, and current programs for universal early detection of childhood hypoacusis, which are not 100% effective, have not been improved in decades.


GHELP is a transnational cooperation project between eight entities from seven regions of SUDOE with the common challenge of innovating in the field of the detection and treatment of hearing loss: combining knowledge and technology to move from a medicine based on the treatment of symptoms to a personalized medicine and focused on combat the problem.


Demonstrate the medical utility of a genetic panel of 180 genes already scientifically related to the disease and analyzed with Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology.

To study the economic, social and sanitary viability of the implementation of this tool in the current programs of detection realized by the Health Services.

Reduce the asymmetries of knowledge and innovation in this field through a pioneering training program for medical professionals. Networking of agents across the value chain: universities, hospitals, businesses and beneficiaries (associated partners), will allow GHELP to lay the groundwork for the future formulation of a personalized therapy for deafness.

What is the Interreg Sudoe Programme?

he Interreg Sudoe Programme supports regional development in southwest Europe, by financing transnational projects under the ERDF. Consequently, it promotes transnational cooperation to solve common problems in a given territory, such as weak investment in research and development, low competitiveness of small and medium-sized companies and exposure to climate change and environmental risks.

The Interreg Sudoe Programme (short for the Interreg VB South West Europe Cooperation Programme) was approved by the European Commission on 18 June 2015, with a budget of 141 million euros.


O Programa Interreg Sudoe (abreviatura de Programa de Cooperação Interreg V-B Sudoeste Europeu) foi aprovado pela Comissão Europeia, no dia 18 de junho de 2015, com um orçamento de 141 milhões de euros.

The GHELP project is co-financed by the Interreg Sudoe Program through the European Regional
Development Fund (ERDF)