Technologies to facilitate the remote delivery of healthcare to patients in their own home is the focus of a new EU-funded project underway at NUI Galway.
The €2.3 million project, Implementing Transnational Telemedicine Solutions (ITTS ), aims to deliver a range of projects on mobile self management, video consultation and home based health services to the rural and remote communities of northern Europe.
This week research partner teams from Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden and Finland will gather at NUI Galway for a two-day meeting. The ITTS teams and their respective clinicians, speech therapists, researchers, engineers and technologists work in a variety of fields including psychiatry, emergency services, diabetes, rehabilitation and care of the elderly.
Dr Liam Glynn is senior lecturer in General Practice at NUI Galway and Principal Investigator of the Irish ITTS research team: “This project has the potential to deliver significant innovation in the connected health space. Our aim is to investigate the potential to deliver aspects of healthcare via a variety of technology platforms including the internet, smartphones and via video conferencing. These will include speech therapy, diabetes care and self management, inflammatory bowel disease management and physiotherapy based rehabilitation for COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ). This can improve access to healthcare and strengthen primary care services. We aim to allow those living in rural areas, the elderly, and a range of other groups to monitor aspects of own health and access healthcare professionals from their own homes.”
The Irish ITTS team includes Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin from NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics. His group is responsible for the coordination of an innovative project on the use of smartphones for tracking physical activity. Smartphones possess tiny accelerometers which can be used for this purpose. The team aims to utilise and develop a suitable methodology and application, to increase physical activity in various patient sub-groups thereby leading to a wide range of potential health benefits.
The Galway conference gives experts the opportunity to hold lectures and workshops where information and knowledge transfer will allow all partner teams to proceed with their respective projects so that in the future all projects are both viable and sustainable within partner countries.
The ITTS project is funded under the EU Northern Periphery Project (NPP ), which aims to help peripheral and remote communities on the northern margins of Europe to develop their economic, social and environmental potential.