The DREAMING project, which carried out randomised control trials across six pilot sites to assess the impact of telemonitoring on the health and quality of life of older people with chronic conditions, concluded its activities in June 2012. AGE was a partner in this pioneer project, being in charge of the management of an Advisory Board comprised of experts who overlooked the project activities and provided useful recommendations.
Throughout the project, the Advisory Group observed and had real contact with the older people and professionals experiencing the DREAMING technology; read and contributed to a number of documents prepared by the DREAMING consortium and actively participated in various events and dissemination activities. Additionally, the experts worked with an eye beyond the project lifetime and provided long-term perspectives to the project outcomes. The Advisory Board has visited all pilot sites and has concluded that the technology is accessible and not intrusive; that users of telehealth are satisfied, more aware of their own situation and feel secure using the DREAMING services; and in some cases telemonitoring has proved not only to reduce medical visits and hospitalisation but also to save lives. Additionally, the Advisory Board has agreed that to ensure positive outcomes, the services should not pay attention just to the health aspect but also to social care, and this is what DREAMING has tried to do focusing both on eHealth and on eInclusion. The experts also noticed that good results go hand in hand with challenges, including the change of roles of health professionals and the possible resistance to change, the importance of training and involving users and their immediate environment (family, caregivers) and the need for reliable technology as well as technical support.
AGE has prepared a document summarising the main comments and lessons learned based on the outcomes from the Advisory Board visits. This paper provides useful insights on the drivers and bottlenecks of telemonitoring from a user perspective and also supplies evidence on the important and complementary role that such bodies can play in European projects. It is therefore a useful tool for policymakers, researchers and users. This report is available online on AGE’s website, while the feedback of the Advisory Board can also be found in a recent publication on the DREAMING project entitled ‘ Is Ambient Assisted Living the Panacea for Ageing Population?’ published by IoS Press.
You may read AGE’s report online through this link.