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Brief description of demo projects

Proactive digital designer of a health journey

We are creating a digital solution for effective communication between patients and primary health centres for care planning, monitoring and supporting. The main goal of the solution is not only to prevent exacerbations and complications of chronic diseases but also to prevent diseases in case of patients with health risks. The pilot solution will be based on evidence-based health technologies and will use decision support opportunities from the treatment instructions.

A primary care centre will prepare a care plan for the patient using a motivating interview. The care plan will include specific goals and activities to follow. The role of a family physician and his/her team is to empower their patients to take an active role in managing their health and involving other health centre specialists according to the needs (physiotherapist, clinical psychologist, mental health nurse, midwife).

The methodology of the care plan has been developed in the framework of a risk patient care management project. In this project, a distant service model will be developed for primary care centres, and the research partner will measure its impact. The involved technology partner will create a telemedicine solution that is an add-on to the existing solution. It is a secure communication and collaboration tool for family physicians and patients including features to keep and raise patient’s motivation to take care of his/her health.

 

Patient monitoring in case of psoriasis and preventing worsening of the disease

In Estonia, more than 42,000 people suffer from psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic relapsing skin disease and has many comorbidities. Although the patient cannot be cured from psoriasis, on-going and personalized treatment approach can significantly increase the quality of life of such patient. Thus, decreasing periods of skin inflammation and early detection and treatment of related diseases important. The project will create new service model that will provide the patient with access to care in case the symptoms worsen, and will be able to share disease-specific risk data and medical photos of the skin from distance. Doctors can evaluate treatment progress; compare risk scores and photos of the skin. The project implements a care pathway approach, including remote monitoring and enabling doctors to decide whether treatment regimen should be changed, a face-to-face appointment or a referral to another specialist is needed. The approach will help to prevent exacerbations of psoriasis and enable early detection and effective treatment of co-morbidities. The implementation of the new model is enabled by Dermtest medical photo management software.

 

OnKontakt - e-support for cancer patient

Every year there are about 8800 new cancer cases in Estonia and it´s expected to grow up to 11 000 for the year 2030. Oncological treatment consists of many different treatment modalities (systematic therapy, radiotherapy, surgical treatment), which may induce significant side effects.

Telemedicine service “OnKontakt - e-support for cancer patient” is a collaboration model that enables cancer patients to report treatment-related side effects to their care team. 

Timely knowledge about the patient’s side effects allows early intervention and treatment by the patient’s care team. Therefore, serious, potentially life-threatening side effects and need for hospitalization can be reduced. Platform also collects structured patient-reported outcome data, which can be used to change future treatment strategies (in both cancer clinics and primary care).

Purpose of the telemedicine service:

  1. To maintain/improve patient’s quality of life during treatment.
  2. To reduce the number of unnecessary ER visits done by cancer patients.
  3. To ensure early intervention in case of complications.
  4. To improve treatment compliance, which is a prerequisite for an improved treatment outcome overall.
  5. To increase collaboration between the general practitioners and the cancer clinic.
  6. To use patient-reported data in treatment-related decision-making.
  7. To conduct active patient counseling, which can reduce treatment-related anxiety and increase the patient’s sense of safety.

Patient and the care team are connected through a digital health platform. The pilot in the year 2022 entails up to 250 breast and colorectal cancer patients receiving systematic treatment.  Pärnu Hospital, a partner of the North Estonia Medical Center, is participating in the project to test the coordinated action of the patient, the cancer center and the treatment team of the partner hospital in treating side effects and advising the patient when performing cancer treatment close to home.

 

Pre-visit

Pre-visit is an important link that complements the family physician's work process and enables for a comprehensive primary care level service.  It begins with the patient describing the problem for which the most appropriate course of treatment is found. The service is available 24/7 and is based on a triage module: self-diagnostics, a symptom questionnaire and a workflow management module that helps find a solution to the problem quickly and determine the urgency of the service to be provided. The solution allows to make reservations for different services according to the complexity of the problem and the category of the triage and to conduct consultations via chat and video call.

This tool reduces the number of physical contacts by addressing some issues through patient instructions and enables the use of a variety of communication channels. Triage reduces staff time and empowers them and patients with quality structured information.