By using fiber for broadband connections, eHealth services such as telehealth consultations are being delivered successfully with lasting results. This was shown by the Connected for Health project and its pilots in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

"The Connected for Health project reached several remarkable results from its piloting and research activities", states Mrs. Marjatta Eväsoja, director of International Affairs and Culture in the Regional Council of Southern Ostrobothnia (Finland), which has been coordinating the project as Lead Partner.

In the project, four pilots were implemented in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. They engaged real end users, patients, clients and professionals, mainly from sparsely populated areas that had built Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network infrastructure.

Wound treatment and cost savings

The pilots achieved lasting results. "In Alavus, Finland, the best results were achieved in distance consultations for wound treatment, whereas in Hudiksvall, Sweden, the pilot's core task was to develop and test a social care alarm system (SCAIP) platform sending event messages between patient and carer. The tests showed that this platform brought the municipality considerate cost savings", tells Mr. Sami Perälä, the executive director of EPTEK.

In Alavus, the consultations are planned to be expanded to further clients. In the same way, the main result of pilot 3 (South Ostrobothnia Health Care District SOHCD, Finland) is a new distance care method developed in the pilot. The method will be integrated in the regular diabetes care services.

Patient empowerment

The fourth pilot was implemented in the Region of Southern Denmark, and the main conclusion was the fact that a well-functioning infrastructure ensures reliable eHealth solutions, which can contribute to increased patient empowerment.

"All of the results are now being collected in a recommendations report for future initiatives", says Mrs. Eväsoja.

14 partners were involved in the project. In addition to the piloting Nordic countries, the project also has a partner from the Czech Republic. The project duration has been 12 months, ending on the 4th of June 2016. The total budget of the project was 1,7M euros, about half of this funded by the EU.

For more information, please visit the project website and watch the video.