Integrating health and social services is one of the key challenges that European social protection systems are currently facing. European and national experts and most policymakers agree that this would improve the delivery of services and the well-being of users, especially older people. The SmartCare project explores ICT solutions that allow the integrated delivery of care. AGE leads the project’s User Advisory Board. The main objective of the Board is to make service users’ voices heard.
SmartCare tests on the ground coordination tools such as shared data access, real time communication support to care teams and multi-organisation access to already existing telecare and telemonitoring home platforms. The goal is to produce guidance on the ways to deliver integrated care as well as on implementation strategies. A large number of regional public authorities are involved in this project, some of which are organising pilot sites in order to test these new solutions for integrated care delivery.
The next SmartCare General Assembly will be held on 13-16 May in Athens around the eHealth week, and the User Advisory Board, led by AGE, will take advantage of this assembly to meet in order to discuss and organise its participation in the upcoming pilot site visits. This will be done by bringing the expertise gained in previous similar AGE projects – most notably Home Sweet Home and Dreaming.
The main objective of the Board, composed also by organisations of patients and social and health professionals, is to make sure that users’ views and needs are fully taken into account in the development of the project. This means taking stock of users’ opinions and impressions during the pilot site visits in order to guide and influence the work of the project. The final aim is to ensure that the findings of SmartCare match users’ expectations and that they leave a long lasting legacy.
The first round of pilot site visits will start this year and will take place in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and Denmark.