Philips, EU develop telehealth 'cookbook' for Europe

Philips Healthcare and a group of partners said they are developing a project funded by the European Union to deliver coordinated healthcare and telehealth in five European regions.

Called Advancing Care Coordination and Telehealth Deployment (ACT), the program is the first to explore the organizational and structural processes needed to implement care coordination and telehealth services on a large scale, ACT said. The program includes healthcare authorities, clinical experts, universities, and industry partners that will monitor initiatives in five European regions, and use the experience to create a "cookbook" of best practices to facilitate coordinated care and telehealth deployment.

Considering that Europe is faced with an aging population that often suffers from chronic disease, the program could potentially transform care for millions of chronically ill people and save healthcare systems on the continent billions of euros each year, Philips Healthcare and the organization said.

ACT brings together healthcare authorities, companies, universities, and hospitals in five partner regions, including the Basque Country and Catalonia in Spain, Groningen in the Netherlands, Lombardy in Italy, and Scotland in the U.K. to deploy and operate their own coordinated care systems for heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes patients.

Once in place, systems will be monitored over a two-year period to identify the best processes, structures, and ways of working that will be incorporated into the cookbook. The experiences will also be shared between regions -- and the optimized structures and behaviors will be published for others to use as a guide, Philips and ACT said.

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