Global Challenges, Territorial Answers: the Future of Health in Europe - Event organised by EUREGHA on behalf of the Committee of the Region's Interregional Group on Health and Well-being

Thursday 6 December 8h00 – 9h00

Room JDE 2253 , European Committee of the Regions


Welcome and introduction by the Chair, Birgitta Sacrédeus

The Chair, Birgitta Sacrédeus welcomed the participants and introduced the topic of the meeting: “Integrated Care in Europe: the way ahead”. Ms Sacrédeus highlighted that in recent years, Europe has faced important demographic changes affecting the ageing population. As a result, increased chronic conditions, multi-morbidity and an ageing population of both the workforce and patients have led to the development of a new integrated care model across Europe. Being able to successfully implement the integrated care model is key, as the rising burden of chronic diseases and of the number of people with complex care needs now requires delivery systems that bring together a range of professionals and skills from both the cure (healthcare) and care (long-term and social care) sectors.
Ms Sacrédeus excused Anne-Marie Yazbeck from Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency, that due to last minute commitment could not attend the meeting and then gave the floor to Isabella Notarangelo, Health Economist, European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE).

The ICT4Life H2020-funded project: advancing Europe’s leadership role in personalised services for integrated care

Isabella Notarangelo, Health Economist, European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE)

Ms. Notarangelo started her presentation by discussing current challenges people living with chronic diseases are facing in throughout their daily life like being able to manage their own care and living independently. ICT4Life is a three-year project financed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, which started 2016 with the aim to provide ICT services for integrated care and increase the quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other dementias as well as their caregivers.
The consortium brings together 9 partners representing academia, industry and end-users’ groups:
• Artica Telemedicina (Spain), which leads the project;
• Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain);
• Madrid Parkinson Association (Spain);
• Netis Informatics Ltd. (Hungary);
• E-seniors (France);
• Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece);
• Maastricht University (Netherlands);
• European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (Belgium);
• University of Pécs (Hungary).
The motivation behind ICT4Life comes from the need to find solutions aimed at developing the concepts of self-care, active patients and integrated care. To reach this goal, ICT4Life is developing through technological and social research a radically new approach to integrated care that is being materialised in the ICT4Life Platform.
The ICT4Life Platform is designed to:
• integrate patients through a tailor-made app, delivering services, aimed at increasing the quality of life and the autonomy of elders at their own homes, nursing homes, day care centres and hospitals; support through web access authorized professionals involved in the care of the patients, such as doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, psychologists, neurologists;
• allow authorised caregivers to have access to patients’ personal or health information selected by the patients themselves. The interfaces are adaptable to the needs of the different ICT4Life end-users;
• protect end-users’ privacy using robust and secure communication channels;
• be tested in real operating environments, through extensive pilots taking place in 2018.
The research study has been conducted among patients with cognitive decline, their relatives, caregivers, and professionals involved. The needs of the different actors are assessed through semi-structured interviews and clinical scales (cognitive and affective scales, quality-of-life measurements, functionality, caregiver burden), which help to develop a user-friendly, adaptive and personalized platform.
The platform includes cognitive enhancement with gamification and the use of integrated ICTs (bio-sensors, smart TV, tablet, mobile, bracelet) which may help monitor elderly people with cognitive decline and provide better and personalized care.
The patients are monitored using a bracelet and camera sensors. These tools will gather information on the patient and administered to an artificial intelligence app. Artificial Intelligence (AI) deployment infers this information and allows the identification of an emergency situation and to monitor patient status. For healthcare professionals, it gives them a clear picture of the patient and their needs so they can administer the best care for them. An innovative feature of the tool is that it is not a single solution approach. Flexibility, modularity and personalization allow the implementation of the platform in other disease areas, scenarios, contexts and domains. The tool also targeted stakeholders who are in charge of providing and funding care. By addressing the appropriate target audience, it got them involved in undertaking the transformational changes needed to effectively implement the tool.
The ICT4Life tool has successfully been tested in Spain, Hungary and France and, given its scalability, the system could facilitate the provision of care to local institutions and health and social settings alike.
The Chair gave then the floor to Prof Jonas Christensen, Malmö University, Sweden

Regional Good Practices: AppSam – Professional support in Dementia care

Prof Jonas Christensen, Malmö University, Sweden

Professor Christensen opened by addressing ageing and social vulnerability as prominent societal challenges faced today. The AppSam project is a sub-project within the CareSam network – Transnational knowledge in research and education in elder issues focuses on dementia care and the relevant applied digital technology. The overall purpose of the AppSam project was to develop a common understanding of the needs of dementia care in countries with different welfare models through transnational interdisciplinary collaboration. The AppSam also developed a Social Innovation collaborative cross-border model as well as a digital support in Professional dementia care, named the iRemember. iRemember is an easy to use, plug and play tool that works with caretakers of dementia patients. The tool works by reminding the patient of their daily tasks and duties. This gives them more independence in that they can still take care of themselves in the comfort of their home without needing someone with them. Another strand of the CareSam network is AgeSam, a EU-funded project by the Erasmus+ strategic partnerships 2018-21. AgeSam works towards the development of learning and teaching tools. It recognizes differences as an apparatus for progress and transparency through the sharing of knowledge. The overall goal with AgeSam is to create a module/course on PhD/master level focusing on ageing and dementia including the lifelong education of elderly people, as well as for professional and informal care-givers in the Baltic Sea Region. The Baltic Sea region is a diverse region when it comes to dementia care and treatment due to the different welfare models. This project focuses on improving and promoting dementia care in the Baltic Sea region, including social and professional aspects, so as to help ensure sustainable and healthy societies. Through providing common reference points it helps foster macroregional cooperation in health by making it more integrated and inclusive . Health and social professionals of all levels who provide care for people with dementia in care homes and hospital settings are often facing challenging situations and ethical dilemmas. Digital technology has potential to support people with dementia. How this kind of technology can be used and understood in relation to relatives and dementia care in different welfare models is a key issue to make the technology support daily care. In the project, empirically based research is created in the meeting between academia and the field of practice.
Long-term goal of the project includes the contribution of a) a deeper professional understanding of an aging society and dementia related challenges and b) creating a common understanding, socially, practically and culturally in knowledge acquisition regarding differences and similarities in the context of welfare logics and dementia care. The project contains four intellectual outputs:
• Integrated care,
• A Study handbook,
• A cross-border scientific method in collaboration,
• Course module: ‘Ageing societies and Dementia care’.


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