Pan European telehealth project to develop 'cookbook' of co-ordinated care
30 April 2013
Royal Philips Electronics and its consortium partners have announced the launch of the Advancing Care Coordination and Telehealth Deployment (ACT) program in five European countries. This will explore the organizational and structural processes needed to successfully implement chronic disease management services on a large scale.
By monitoring 'care co-ordination and telehealth' (CC&TH) initiatives in five European regions, the program will create a 'cookbook' of best practices to facilitate their deployment. This could potentially transform care for millions of chronically ill people and save healthcare systems billions of euros each year. In the EU, some 10 million people suffer from heart failure, 20 million have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease2 (COPD) and 60 million live with diabetes. Each year, these three conditions cost EU healthcare systems around €125 billion.
Led by Philips, the ACT program brings together healthcare authorities, companies, universities and hospitals. Five partner European regions (the Basque Country and Catalonia in Spain, Groningen in the Netherlands, Lombardy in Italy and Scotland in the UK) will deploy and operate their own CC&TH schemes for heart failure, COPD and diabetes patients.
The systems will be monitored over a 24-month period to identify “best in class” processes, structures and ways of working. Data and experiences will be shared between regions, allowing promising candidates to be further optimized. The resulting optimized structures and behaviours will be published, allowing other healthcare authorities to develop their own CC&TH systems.
The aim of these services is for chronically ill people to be treated effectively in their own homes through remote management systems and integrated networks of caregivers. The ultimate goal is to improve health and help patients help themselves by giving them more independence, freedom and control over their health and lifestyle. Clinical studies have shown these services can help reduce hospital admissions, days in hospital and mortality rates. However, so far CC&TH has been mainly limited to pilot programs due to the difficulty of translating such research into practice.
“The ACT program is a key step towards the widespread use of care coordination and telehealth services. It takes research in this field to the next stage of implementation. The program examines how best to deploy and integrate telehealth to improve outcomes for patients and healthcare systems, and ensure they are cost effective,” said Professor Stanton Newman of Health Psychology, School of Health Sciences, City University London, UK and Principal Investigator on the Whole System Demonstrator, the largest telehealth trial conducted to date.
“Philips aims to transform healthcare through meaningful, patient-centric innovation,” said Bas Verhoef, President Market Group EMEA, Philips Healthcare. “People increasingly want healthcare on their own terms, in ways that let them get on with their normal lives. Moving care from the hospital to the home makes that possible while also helping healthcare systems cope with the increased pressures due to aging populations and the growth of chronic disease”.
“It is an essential evolution, but making it happen requires cooperation from across the healthcare value chain,” continues Verhoef. “The ACT program shows there is a strong willingness to cooperate across Europe, and Philips is proud to lead such a strong consortium that is united in wanting to improve care and quality of life for millions.”
The ACT program website: www.act-program.eu/
The ACT program is part of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA). The EIP-AHA is an initiative from the European Commission under its Innovation Union strategy, and aims to increase the average healthy lifespan by two years by 2020. http://ec.europa.eu/active-healthy-ageing