A feasibility study for the provision of electronic healthcare tools and services in areas of Greece, Cyprus and Italy

Mougiakakou, Stavroula; Kyriacou, Efthyvoulos; Perakis, Kostas; Papadopoulos, Homer; Androulidakis, Aggelos; Konnis, Georgios; Tranfaglia, Riccardo; Pecchia, Leandro; Bracale, Umberto; Pattichis, Constantinos; Koutsouris, Dimitrios (2011). A feasibility study for the provision of electronic healthcare tools and services in areas of Greece, Cyprus and Italy. Biomedical engineering online, 10, p. 49. London: BioMed Central 10.1186/1475-925X-10-49

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Background Through this paper, we present the initial steps for the creation of an integrated platform for the provision of a series of eHealth tools and services to both citizens and travelers in isolated areas of thesoutheast Mediterranean, and on board ships travelling across it. The platform was created through an INTERREG IIIB ARCHIMED project called INTERMED. Methods The support of primary healthcare, home care and the continuous education of physicians are the three major issues that the proposed platform is trying to facilitate. The proposed system is based on state-of-the-art telemedicine systems and is able to provide the following healthcare services: i) Telecollaboration and teleconsultation services between remotely located healthcare providers, ii) telemedicine services in emergencies, iii) home telecare services for "at risk" citizens such as the elderly and patients with chronic diseases, and iv) eLearning services for the continuous training through seminars of both healthcare personnel (physicians, nurses etc) and persons supporting "at risk" citizens. These systems support data transmission over simple phone lines, internet connections, integrated services digital network/digital subscriber lines, satellite links, mobile networks (GPRS/3G), and wireless local area networks. The data corresponds, among others, to voice, vital biosignals, still medical images, video, and data used by eLearning applications. The proposed platform comprises several systems, each supporting different services. These were integrated using a common data storage and exchange scheme in order to achieve system interoperability in terms of software, language and national characteristics. Results The platform has been installed and evaluated in different rural and urban sites in Greece, Cyprus and Italy. The evaluation was mainly related to technical issues and user satisfaction. The selected sites are, among others, rural health centers, ambulances, homes of "at-risk" citizens, and a ferry. Conclusions The results proved the functionality and utilization of the platform in various rural places in Greece, Cyprus and Italy. However, further actions are needed to enable the local healthcare systems and the different population groups to be familiarized with, and use in their everyday lives, mature technological solutions for the provision of healthcare services.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Diabetes Technology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition

UniBE Contributor:

Mougiakakou, Stavroula

ISSN:

1475-925X

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:14

Last Modified:

15 Jan 2019 16:46

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/1475-925X-10-49

PubMed ID:

21649924

Web of Science ID:

000292239800001

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.3473

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/3473 (FactScience: 207272)

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