Title: Regional Telemedicine Forum
Type of intervention
Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Total budget: €1,977,831.00
Region of Southern Denmark, OUH
Sdr. Boulevard 29, Indgang 216, Stuen
5000, Odense C
Click for contact details
Contact Person: Lea Bohn
Phone: 0045 51640948
The societal and economic benefits from wider use of telemedicine are potentially huge. The European Cohesion Policy is to deliver the renewed Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs (2007 – 2013), which is promoting innovation as a possible way of finding appropriate solutions for many of the societal challenges. The RTF partners are proposing to establish a Regional Telemedicine Forum to deliver innovation at regional level. Despite the benefits and technical maturity of the applications, the use of telemedicine services is still limited in Europe. It has become evident that actions have to be taken at regional level, by 1) developing policy recommendations addressing the main barriers hindering the wider use of telemedicine, 2) exchange of good practises, and 3) providing evidence of successful telemedicine to build trust and acceptance. Such actions will contribute to ensuring that regional policies will respond better to today's economic and social challenges.
Until now the majority of the eHealth and telemedicine projects within the Structural Funding programmes have focused mainly on interoperability issues between few regions (standardisations and infrastructures for secure electronic communication) and the testing of few telemedicine pilots.
A couple of new EU initiatives have a similar focus as RTF on the policy level and on the exchange of good practices in the domain of eHealth. As a contrast to previous experiences the RTF partnership wants to focus on the development of policy recommendations to European regions which can help them in their efforts to release the potential of wider implementation and deployment of telemedicine services at regional level - hereby improving patient care and healthcare system efficiency as well as market development for regional SMEs. The policy recommendations will be developed on the basis of identification and analysis of barriers at clinical, evaluation, strategy and market levels.
Another added value of the RTF is the combination of the development of policy recommendations for European regions in conjunction with good practice guidelines which intend to make it possible to duplicate and replicate successful status quo telemedicine services for chronic patients in other European regions.
During the project period 7 workshops have taken place to identify and discuss good practices within COPD, diabetes and CVD. The first RTF event gathered 30 professionals in Barcelona in June 2010 with focus on COPD. The following event took place in Denmark in September 2010, with the aim to discuss telemedicine services for patients with diabetes. The CVD Event gathered 34 professionals in Edinburgh in 2012 followed by an event focused on IT-support of chronic disease management in Tromsø, Norway in June 2012. An event in Clermont-Ferrand in October 2011 focused on regional facilitation of market access of SMEs in the field of telemedicine services. Two final events took place in Treviso and Talinn in 2012 focusing on development of policy recommendations. The event in Tallinn also included a two hour panel discussion with the President of Estonia, focusing on the importance of implementation and deployment of telemedicine services.
Besides these events an End-of-project Conference took place in Sweden in June 2012, which involved 207 participants, including numerous regional politicians. The RTF results, including policy recommendations have been presented and discussed throughout panel discussions and separate working sessions. In september 2012 a final dissemination event was held in Odense in conjunction with the last SG meeting of the partnership.
During the project the RTF partnership has identified and discussed 20 good practices of telemedicine services which have been analyzed and included in the Good Practice Guidelines. These can be downloaded from the RTF website: www.regional-telemedicine.eu. The project has shown that the core challenge of the regions is how to organize telemedicine services and how to deal with the organisational challenges. The discussions have shown the importance of regional policy makers taking an active role in the push for telemedicine services and organizational changes.
As follow-up on the seven RTF events several partners have visited each other afterwards aiming at continuing the exchange of experience concerning concrete organization and development of new telemedicine services in the field of COPD, diabetes and CVD. The exchange of experience between the RTF regions have (so far) not resulted in a 1:1 exchange of a telemedicine service. In this context an RTF site visit in Tromsø, Norway in June 2011 demonstrated the various legal and organizational challenges of adopting a 1:1 telemedicine solution from Denmark to the Norwegian health service in the field of ulcer care. That being said, the exchange of experience has resulted in transfer of good practices to 6 RTF regions which have helped them to adapt ongoing development and organization of new telemedicine services. It has also helped them improve the planning of new telemedicine services for chronic patients.
In addition the exchange of experience has resulted in 3 spin-off projects/activities of RTF partners. Finally the RTF exchange of experience has resulted in 1 improvement of regional/local policies in terms of improvement of a deployment programme for telemedicine services. It is difficult to show in detail that RTF has influenced specific policies in the partner regions, but several regions are launching policies and programmes for telemedicine in chronic disease management where RTF and similar projects play a key role. The project partners have made a tremendous effort to promote the RTF results and secure the sustainability of these by participating in events and relevant networks all around Europe and giving presentations about the results. All partners agree that RTF has been a very fruitful project with excellent results relevant to a large audience.
|Institution, Town||Country||Region||Contact details|
|Region of Southern Denmark, OUH, Odense C||DENMARK||Syddanmark||0045 51640948
|Veneto Region, Venezia||ITALY||Veneto||39 (0)41. 2793455
|Ministry of Health of the Catalan Government, TicSalut Foundation, Mataró||SPAIN||Cataluña||34 93 5532642
|Northern Norway Regional Health Authority, Bodo||NORWAY||47 755 12900
|Estonian eHealth Foundation, Tallinn||ESTONIA||Eesti||372 694 3900
|Regional Council of Auvergne, Chamalières||FRANCE||Auvergne||33 4 73 31 86 11
|Scottish Centre for Telehealth, Aberdeen||UNITED KINGDOM||North Eastern Scotland||44 845 337 3356
|County Council of Norrbotten, Luleå||SWEDEN||Övre Norrland||0046 920 284 000
|Malopolska Region, Krakow||POLAND||Malopolskie||0048 12 63-03-444
|University Hospital of North Norway, Tromso||NORWAY||+47 915 07766
|Local Health Trust N°9 Treviso, Treviso||ITALY||Veneto||+39 0422 323232
|National Health Service 24, glasgow||UNITED KINGDOM||South Western Scotland||0141 337 4501