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CareWell Operational Phase Launching

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The official start of the operational phase of the three year European project Carewell that was signed last year and is financed by the EU funds from the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, was marked on Monday, June 29, with a press conference at the premises of Ericsson Nikola Tesla that is a partner of this project in Croatia, together with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, and the Croatian Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Health Economics. Together with the hosts, the event was attended by numerous respectable scientists and medical workers, members of relevant institutions, as well as by the Minister of Health, Siniša Varga, and Tatjana Prenđa Trupec, the Director of Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF).

CareWell (full title: “Multi-level integration for patients with complex needs“), worth EUR 3 million, focuses on increasing healthcare accessibility and on the improvement of outpatient care processes and the patient’s quality of life, regarding primarily the patients affected by Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and at the same time reducing costs. A total of 8 EU member countries participate in this project. The operational implementation includes parallel pilot-projects in six European Regions, and in the Croatian pilot project, six primary healthcare teams participate from the Healthcare Center Zagreb Center, comprised of family GPs and field nurses and 110 patients  age over 65 years of age. The teams use Ericsson Mobile Health system for remote medical monitoring of patients, and they all have their own sets of devices for monitoring vital parameters (12 Lead ECG, spirometer, blood pressure gauge and pulse oximeter), donated by the company Ericsson Nikola Tesla.  For the project's requirements, an interesting and modern education material was created, containing 3D animations regarding diabetes, pulmonary diseases and cardiovascular diseases, and was created in Croatian, especially for the needs of patient education and also contains information regarding a healthy diet and exercise. These education clips are also available to a broader public by using the Playlists on Ericsson Nikola Tesla YouTube channel.
The aim of the project is to analyze the effect the improved service has on health parameters of elderly patients, who have complex needs and are suffering from chronic diseases, as well as on their quality of life and on the healthcare system efficiency.  By using mobile technologies and wireless measurement sensors, the field nurses, during monthly house calls educate the patients by using new digital education materials and measure every patient's vital parameters and at the same time make them available to the family GP. During the project, the patients and the caregivers can access the education materials and the measurement results via smart phones and/or TV app. The GP regularly, on a monthly basis, reviews the results of house calls from their existing application, gives opinions and coordinates the activities for the upcoming house calls with the field nurse. The service enables patients an efficient communication with the healthcare system and the support in changing their lifestyle and taking an active role in improving their own health. 
The Minister of Health, Siniša Varga, highlighted that with this project the public healthcare system of the Republic of Croatia, among the first ones in Europe, gets a developed and a  verified service of the long-term access in managing chronic diseases and IT monitoring of the chronic patients in primary healthcare, early discovery and avoiding complications, training healthy people and patients and coordinated treatment based on the multidisciplinary clinical guidelines, with the patients themselves actively participating.
In accordance with the EU strategy mHealth becomes a platform for an increased amount of available information and for an easier data access for healthcare professionals, increases the medical information flow rate, reduces the number of unnecessary travels, especially in rural areas, and enables a better patient education and provides support to healthcare cost reduction, emphasized Tatjana Prenđa Trupec, Director of CHIF.
Antonija Balenović, Head of Healthcare Center Zagreb Center commented on the value of modern ways of communicating with patients and a positive impacts we can achieve by expanding such a service, because the studies show that in the future technically equipped, educated and interested patients will take care about their health and decide about it together with the doctors.

„I am proud that, as a company of knowledge and a partner with an innovative portfolio of high added value, we participate in another complex international project, for the benefit of individuals and society, moreover because by implementing it, the EU turns a new page in solving the challenge of population aging, and especially in caring for citizens over 65 years of age. “ concluded Gordana Kovačević, President of Ericsson Nikola Tesla.
Company Communications Ericsson Nikola Tesla


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