Study of integrated care in European regions: case studies
In light of shifting needs of integrated care, the study highlights the role of ICT in integrated care and the expected impact of ICT in terms of health outcomes and health care system efficiency.
With many health systems still largely built around an acute and episodic model of care, the challenge faced by health policy makers today is how to put in place a response that better meets the needs of people with complex chronic health problems and with needs for independent living. In this respect, the stand-alone approach of various ICT enabled services (remote monitoring, telehealth, etc.) is clearly inadequate and gave rise to increased consensus and good practices of integrated or “connected” care enabled by ICT. It allows the delivering of integrated services that can address at the same time broadly defined assistance and independent living needs, more strictly defined needs for remote monitoring (telehealth) of chronic diseases, as well as prevention and wellness/fitness needs for various segments including also some younger age groups. However, challenges to ICT enabled integrated care remain a combination of productive, financial and technical inter-operability bottlenecks. Our study sheds light in this area using a case study design that comprises 15 cases in 9 different regions – Spain, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Czech Republic, France, Netherlands, Sweden, UK – and interviews with Grand Practioners.