Telemedicine Pomerania improves healthcare in sparsely populated regions

The Telemedicine Pomerania project was aimed at ensuring that people in sparsely populated areas of the Pomerania Euroregion, which straddles the German-Polish border, have proper access to health infrastructure and services. The intention was to improve prevention and diagnosis of illness and patient therapy by creating efficient and sustainable communication structures.

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President of Germany, Joachim Gauck visits the Telemedicine POMERANIA Project in May 2013 © Telemedicine Pomerania President of Germany, Joachim Gauck visits the Telemedicine POMERANIA Project in May 2013 © Telemedicine Pomerania

" Telemedicine Pomerania moves data so that patients and physicians don't have to move. "

Prof. Dr. Norbert Hosten, Chairman of the POMERANIA Project, Director of the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology, University of Greifswald

The project involved 20 hospitals on the German side of the border and 15 on the Polish side. The network remains open to other interested parties and has an interface with the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania teleradiology network.

As a result of the activities, medical equipment in the participating hospitals was improved. In addition, some 40 people were employed in the project and six jobs were created after implementation.

Telemedicine Pomerania covered fields such as radiology, urology, ear, nose and throat illnesses, stroke care, cardiology, oncology and ophthalmology. The quick and efficient data transfer systems installed by the project allow specialists from Poland and Germany to analyse medical information and provide second opinions on diagnoses made by local doctors regardless of distance. This makes it easier to ensure that patients in outlying hospitals receive the same standard of care as those in more densely populated areas.

Foundations for future cross-border exchange

The foundations have been laid for future cross-border data exchange. As a result of the project, a video conference network has been set up which enables patients' results to be discussed as part of consultations in German and Polish clinics.

The German/Polish steering group met every 6-8 weeks during implementation which further strengthened links between the partners. The final conference was accompanied by a photo exhibition with images from German and Polish hospitals showing everyday hospital life and doctor-patient relationships.

President of Germany, Joachim Gauck was introduced to Telemedicine Pomerania during a visit to the Institute of Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology of Greifswald University Hospital in May 2013. The project also won the 12th eGovernment competition which recognises effective use of information and communication technology in the public sector.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Telemedicine within the Euroregion Pomerania” is EUR 12 024 316, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 10 088 374 from the Operational Programme “Poland - Germany” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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