Innovation in care can be organized by the introduction of technology as a tool in the process of care delivery. The introduction of technology has become an important driver in the innovation of medical care. Now the use of internet technology has become a driving force, in long term care and in mental health care as well. Technology can reduce the distance between a client and a care provider. In modern European society scarcity of care providers is not only influenced by the physical distance but also by demographic factors. Due to the graying of the population it is becoming difficult to obtain adequate care and support when needed. This has led to the development of “remote care”. Using “remote care” another potential is created: it enables the adequate and timely information on a client's health statusthat facilitates the delivery of appropriate care when it is needed, which may strongly support the quality of care.
The introduction of technology as a tool to support a specific process will lead to a drastic reorganization of procedures and practice. This also occurs in long term care. Expectations, procedures and protocols have to be redesigned to make care delivery supported by technology effective. From idea, through experimentation, towards implementation, the process of re-design of current practice requires commitment of potential users, clients and technology- and care providers. Different approaches can be followed. The aim of this session is to present examples of applied research in which several steps of the development of new care applications are discussed. Starting from the selection of the appropriate technology, through identification of user requirements and the ‘building’ of the application and finally its implementation in practice.In this session we start with the presentation by Peetoom et al. who investigated the daily functioning of elderly in the home environment.Their aim was to obtain insight into which monitoring technologies exist, what the characteristics are and what is known about the outcomes. Effective application development starts with the exploration of user requirements. Van de Dijk et al. present their results on the requirements of older COPD patients for eHealth support at home. Their intention was to create a remote care application to promote self-management and to increase quality of life. Another example of development of a care related application is given by Willems et al. Using a sequence of research and co-creation cycles the development of a stroke rehabilitation application is described. The choice of technology to be used in the development of specific applications is of vital importance. M.Betke gives a description of a database that gives details on remote user sessions. Analysis of these data may give rise to an improvement of the user-technology interaction. The development and implementation of remote care in regular practice is a complex process. As a final presentation Van der Vlies et al. describe a technology transfer tool that may support researchers as a guide through the innovation process.
Taken together these presentations cover the route from idea up to the implementation of remote care. An area in which technology acts as a supportive means to care delivery. In 2013 this area is becoming important to the delivery of quality of care.
Chair of the session
Luc de Witte and Charles G.Willems