Implementing healthcare at a distance: getting telemedicine to work across Northern Europe

Developments in technology to provide clinical healthcare at a distance will come under the spotlight at a conference this week.

The University of Aberdeen’s Implementing Transnational Telemedicine Solutions project (ITTS) is a 3 year project aiming to improve accessibility to and normalise the use of telemedicine.

It has led to the implementation or extension of 25 telemedicine services across 40 sites in Northern Europe.

The results of the project - which has brought together partners from Scotland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland - will be discussed at a 2 day event taking place from March 11-12.

Clinicians, patients and healthcare professionals from across Europe will gather at the conference which will be held at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness.

David Heaney, ITTS Project Director said: “We believe that the ITTS project has made a real difference to the delivery of healthcare to people living in the Northern Periphery.

“Video consultation links have been developed for speech therapy, renal services, emergency psychiatry services, and diabetes. Smartphones "apps" have been used for inflammatory bowel disease, and for tracking physical activity.  Home based services have been introduced for social and medical care emergencies, for patients with multimorbidity, and remote exercise classes were developed for patients with chronic diseases or in rehabilitation.

“We also think we have unleashed the potential for future developments, as technology advances, and as clinicians, patients and service planners get used to telemedicine being part of everyday practice.

“This conference is the culmination of the project’s endeavours and achievements and will bring together a diverse audience of clinicians, patients, health service planners, technologists, academics and civil servants. 

“The diversity of our delegates is acknowledgment of the importance of knowledge exchange as a vital ingredient in the development of new services.”

For more information on the ITTS project visit www.transnational-telemedicine.eu/

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