NEw Ways for Self-management Knowlegde to Yield up CARE
New SkyCare aims to establish the first pan-European virtual hospital, providing patients safe, comfortable home-centered treatment through telemonitoring and remote medical assistance. The project will develop a Medical Service Centre to provide hospitals with a 24/7 care-service that monitors and guides chronically ill patients with diabetes type II and chronic heart failure.
Increasing healthcare costs and ageing populations are straining the current healthcare delivery model. We need more patient-centric disease management solutions, as well as treatments that can be carried out at home. SkyCare envisions the first scalable European virtual hospital, working from a centralised facility with the mandate of payers, healthcare providers and tech developers, to service patients in several countries at once.
Zilveren Kruis-Achmea will handle oversight of the project, reporting to the steering group and EIT Health. Philips will develop an open-source structure to connect various consumer eHealth tools to a personal health record. Eurocross will set up a Medical Service Centre, designing procedures and training personnel. Erasmus MC and Karolinska Institutet will supply eHealth tools and patient groups. Eurapco and the Medical University of Lodz will explore business models and reimbursement systems.
SkyCare is the first European initiative to establish a virtual hospital that will be able to service patients independently of their home country. The initial focus will be on patients in the Netherlands and Sweden afflicted by diabetes type II and chronic heart failure.
The goal of the initiative is to create a scalable Medical Service Centre, which can be expanded to other countries and can be used for other medical conditions. This is achieved by a flexible and open IT architecture with three unique features:
- It connects existing eHealth tools and patients to an open central scalable platform.
- It adds new algorithms to analyse the data.
- It monitors the data via a new 24/7 Medical Service Centre, which contacts patients and healthcare providers when necessary, and enables research.
Activities are divided into multiple work packages, including:
- IT-integration of eHealth self-management tools;
- drawing up data security and GDPR-proof frameworks;
- establishing the physical medical service centre and protocols;
- preparing two medical pilots with a total of 300 patients at Erasmus MC, Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm (Sweden).
SkyCare will have a positive impact on cost reduction, quality of care and accessibility because:
- eHealth tools have been known to inspire more healthy lifestyles and self-management;
- continuous monitoring of vital health signs enabled by eHealth tools has been proven to help set more accurate diagnoses and initiate the proper follow-up actions;
- patients enjoy the comfort of access to their own health data and easier remote access to health professionals.
Why this is an EIT Health project
This project is an excellent example of the EIT Health Focus Area of “Bringing Care Home”, and it promises the benefits envisioned by that focus area, including improved care due to constant health monitoring and empowerment of patients to handle their own care.