Catalonia as a reference site in the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

//La Comisión Europea reconoce su compromiso con la atención de la gente mayor, los pacientes crónicos y otros grupos de riesgo

The priority that Catalonia assigns to its social and health care services for the elderly, for people with chronic diseases and for other risk groups has been recognized by the EC’s European Innovation Partnership on Active Health and Ageing (EIP on AHA), which has awarded the Catalan reference site TicSalut/InnohealthHub Catalunya its three-star diploma and the designation Model of Excellence. TicSalut/InnohealthHub Catalunya brings together the TicSalut Foundation of the Government of Catalonia, which promotes IT development and application in the health sector, and the various city councils, hospitals, universities, research centres and IT companies that comprise InnohealthHub.

In its work through the EIP on AHA initiative to promote social and health care services for the elderly across Europe, the EC invited Europe’s cities and regions to submit a self-assessment of their good practices in order to more effectively rank and monitor the regions where such health policies are being implemented. Each reference site in the Partnership comprises a number of different institutions and reflects the alliance between cities, regions, hospitals and social and health care services providing specific examples of good practices that can bring added value to the care services for Europe’s citizens. Some sites have also contributed by generating employment in the city or region in question, so prompting the various initiatives that are now in motion to scale up AHA innovation by developing local or regional best practices at national or transnational levels. But in all cases, the sites chosen by the Partnership have demonstrated their ability to innovate and offer good practices that can be transferable to other European contexts.

The Catalan reference site TicSalut/InnohealthHub Catalunya is distinguished by its contribution to the prevention and treatment of diseases related to ageing, such as cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases, mental disorders, arteriosclerosis and geriatric trauma. The self-assessment it submitted to the Partnership showcased three projects in which good practices met the EIP on AHA criteria on innovation, scalability and replicability, and the outcomes required of the projects themselves.

Supporting Healthier and Independent Living for Chronic Patients and the Elderly (NEXES)

Supporting Healthier and Independent Living for Chronic Patients and the Elderly (NEXES) is an IT-enabled integrated care project that uses telemonitoring technology to transfer the complex apparatus of chronic patient care from the hospital centre to the home. The project demonstrates the viability of new formats for health professionals to provide patient care and the effectiveness of using certain IT resources in chronic care. NEXES has already provided opportunities for cooperation between European regions, with integrated care services in Norway and Greece participating in the development, and the project is currently led by Dr Josep Roca, director of the Lung Function Unit at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.

Collaborative Model between Health and Social Care (MECASS)

The Collaborative Model between Health and Social Care (or MECASS, from the Catalan Model d’entorn col·laboratiu d’atenció social i sanitària) is an integrated-care project for people with chronic and complex illnesses which focuses on developing a collaborative environment across different levels of social and health care in order to improve the quality of patient services and make these more effective. The care recipients suffer from one or more than one acute illness and have a history of hospitalization. The project brings together health professionals in primary care and home health care, social and mental health, palliative care and hospital centres in the areas of Baix Llobregat and Barcelona. MECASS was launched by the Catalan Health Institute (ICS) with the technical support of IBM, and is now being assessed for development at a regional level.

The Colorectal Cancer Early Detection Programme (PDPCCR)

The Colorectal Cancer Early Detection Programme (or PDPCCR, from the Catalan Programa de detecció precoç de càncer colorectal) was launched in 2009 to reduce the incidence and mortality rate of colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in Catalonia. The programme, which is being run for men and women aged 50 to 69, uses a simple diagnostic test that can be self-administered at home. To date, more than 200,000 people have completed the test. The keys to the programme are effective screening and early detection which together enable earlier intervention and management. The PDPCCR project is being led by the Ministry of Health of the Government of Catalonia and the participants in the project are general hospitals, dispensing chemists and primary health centres.

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