Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Philips teaming up with regions to advance Integrated Care & Telehealth rollout in Europe

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Philips is a committed partner in the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, working in the Action Group B3 on Integrated Care, alongside regional authorities, academics and other industrial partners. Within B3, we lead the action area on change management as a driver for the uptake of integrated care for tackling the burden of chronic disease.
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Last week I attended the Second Conference of Partners of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. The conference brought together over 600 people from across Europe, all committed to work in partnership on solutions for our ageing society.

I was fascinated to see that, since 2011, different worlds grow closer together through this partnership: public buyers and private sellers of course, but also the ICT and health communities. I feel awareness is growing among health practitioners and governments that ICT is an enabler for the transformational shift they need to go through to keep the healthcare systems sustainable. But, at the same time, people start to realize that just throwing ICT at health issues will not solve the complex problems healthcare systems face nowadays.

The potential of integrated care and telehealth services, not only to reduce the economic burden of chronic care, but also to improve the delivery of clinical support is endorsed by scientific evidence gathered mainly in clinical trials. However, such services have not yet progressed substantially beyond pilots and test installations. Translating the evidence to large scale deployment requires a change in the behaviours, routines and cultures.

That is why, within the Partnership, we as Philips are part of the Action Group B3 on Integrated Care. What is B3? It is all about identifying and optimizing the drivers for large-scale take-up of ICT in integrated health and care settings for the benefit of the elderly. Within B3, we coordinate the action area on change management. If you are a healthcare delivery organisation or health care system manager, I warmly invite you to contribute your expertise by filling out our change management questionnaire.

In this context, Philips also initiated the Advancing Care Coordination & Telehealth Deployment (ACT) Programme, bringing together a pan-European consortium of leading companies, universities, hospitals and healthcare authorities from the Basque Country (Spain), Catalonia (Spain), Scotland (UK), Groningen (Netherlands) and Lombardy (Italy).

The ACT programme will define best practices in care coordination and telehealth to address the ageing population and the related burden of chronic disease. The objective of this EU co-funded project is to help overcome organisational and structural issues in patient stratification, patient and staff engagement, optimisation of organisational structures, and efficacy and efficiency.

Output from the ACT programme will feed back into the Action Group B3 activities. If you, as a European Healthcare region, are interested in ACT, we would like to welcome you as an affiliate member of the programme. Just let me know!

Disclaimer: This is a guest blog post. The author does not work at the European Commision. Bart Schelfhout is Senior manager EU Affairs at Philips.