Improving together with AI

How can innovative healthcare technology support healthcare professionals to collaborate interprofessionally and optimise physiotherapy and dietetics treatment after oncological surgery?

The project ‘Improving Together with AI’, explores how innovative healthcare technology can support healthcare professionals to collaborate and optimise physiotherapy and dietetics treatment after oncological lung- and abdominal surgery.

This project is a partner project of the OPRAH project (Optimal Physical Recovery After Hospitalisation). In OPRAH, patients who have undergone oncological lung- and abdominal surgery are offered remote nutritional and exercise treatment after surgery. The patient and caregivers use the Atris app to monitor whether treatment goals are met and collaborate and communicate with each other. The aim is to give the patient more self-management during their rehabilitation and for healthcare professionals to be able to coach and communicate in multiple ways.

This project evaluates both professionals and patients user experiences to improve the intervention, and make personalised, sustainable, and more tailored care. The results will be implemented in healthcare practice and education.

Goals of Better Together with AI:

  • Optimise the recovery programme for patients after oncological surgery
    More tailored care
  • Preparing current and future healthcare professionals for the care of the future.

Work packages

Work package 1

This work package focuses on exploring application possibilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for developing personalised prediction models. For this, we combine data on physical activity level (duration and intensity) and nutrition (protein intake) from the feasibility study of OPRAH (n=20) and the RCT OPRAH (n=160) prior to surgery and during recovery afterwards. In addition, we investigate the possibilities of enabling central data collection on recovery of patients with cancer undergoing major surgery and set up a sustainable database for this purpose.

Work package 2

Integrating existing knowledge about the optimal combination of nutrition (with a focus on protein) and physical activity in oncological patients, and translating this knowledge into tools physiotherapists and dieticians. Furthermore, we investigate user experiences with remotely coaching, interprofessional collaboration, triggers, and feedback within the OPRAH recovery intervention, and make an inventory of the wishes and needs of the professionals with regard to collaboration and communication.

Work package 3

Developing and testing OPRAH 2.0 with the knowledge from WP1 and WP2.

Work package 4

Knowledge circulation, transfer into education and practice, and dissemination towards professionals, education, and research. With the aim of training current and future healthcare professionals to use AI within healthcare treatment.


  • Data analysis of the OPRAH app
  • Interviews with healthcare professionals and patients
  • Expert meetings

Expected results

  • Integration of smarter use of ‘big data’; focusing on nutrition and physical activity of patients three months after oncological surgery.
  • Algorithms to improve treatment in patients with cancer after surgery
  • Strengthen interprofessional collaboration between physiotherapist and dietician
  • Educational development for current healthcare professionals and the healthcare professionals of the future focused on nutrition and physical acitivty and eHealth.

The research team

dr. Marike van der Schaaf

dr. Marike van der Schaaf

Lector Revalidatie in de acute zorg, HvA en senior-onderzoeker afdeling Revalidatiegeneeskunde, Amsterdam UMC

dr. Marike van der Leeden

dr. Marike van der Leeden

Senior onderzoeker, afdeling revalidatiegeneeskunde, Amsterdam UMC

Charlotte van Westerhuis MSc

Charlotte van Westerhuis MSc

docent-onderzoeker Hinke Kruizenga Hinke Kruizenga

Diëtist-onderzoeker in het Amsterdam UMC en de HvA en coordinator van het expertisecentrum Voeding & Beweging

dr. Maarten van Egmond

dr. Maarten van Egmond

Hogeschool hoofddocent fysiotherapie

verantwoordelijk voor de verbinding tussen praktijkgericht onderzoek en onderwijs.

dr. Jesse Aarden

dr. Jesse Aarden

docent-onderzoeker HvA

verantwoordelijk voor het Smart Health and Vitality Lab, onderdeel van het Centre of Expertise Applied Artificial Intelligence van de HvA van Amsterdam. 

Marijke de Leeuwerk MSc

Marijke de Leeuwerk MSc

fysiotherapeut - onderzoeker

Promovendus van het OPRAH project

Marwan el Morabet

Marwan el Morabet


Conducted by

Funded by