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Transnational projects typically lead to time-saving, innovative or improved solutions and methodologies which save resources and increase efficiency. This improves cost-efficiency, accelerates the uptake of current best-practice approaches, and facilitates wise use of public resources.
Innovation in healthcare – so-called telemedicine - promises greater care quality, efficiency, and affordability especially in ageing central European societies. However, the recent flurry of technological advance is enough to make any physician’s, care provider’s, and politician’s head spin. One of the most ambitious objectives of SPES was to increase the awareness about telemedicine in central Europe and to foster the adoption of developed solutions in the healthcare provision systems. The impact that a small project like SPES may have on the healthcare system is rather limited, due to the large inertia that such system has intrinsically: both healthcare providers and patients normally refuse modification on the system because of the risk associated to these modifications.
The SPES project has shown that implementation and successful adoption of simple telemedicine solutions does not require expensive hardware equipment with complicated interventions to involve persons with disabilities or elderly. Through its pilot actions, the project helped increase the quality of life of 160 patients affected by chronic diseases (dementia, respiratory diseases, physically challenged) located in the cities of Ferrara (Italy), Vienna (Austria), Brno (Czech Republic), and Kosice (Slovak Republic) through the introduction and testing of ICT-based medical solutions that enhanced their independent living (in particular orientation assisting devices, spirometers, sensors or e-inclusion platforms).
The pilot action of SPES project in Vienna allowed local politicians and social and healthcare providers to enhance the quality of life of elderly persons suffering from dementia through the introduction of new technologies and software applications in the social services. The use of GPS-localisation devices in day care centres specialised in supporting persons with dementia helped reduce the risk of severely disoriented persons from getting lost in outdoor spaces. Caregivers received acoustic and visual information via an active RFID system and special software, when a test person with special supportive needs was about to leave an individually defined ‘security area’, e.g. a garden or the terrace.
By developing a political roadmap “Promoting the adoption of telemedicine services in the Central Europe area”, the project also contributed to raising awareness of local authorities about modern and reliable e-health services which promise lower costs, and less traffic and administrative burden to patients and providers of medical services.READ MORE STORIES