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eHealth in Rheumatology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ELECTOR (eHealth in Rheumatology)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2017-06-30

The overall objective of the ELECTOR project is to deliver an integrated eHealth platform and bring forth a feasible and valuable clinical concept to patients across Europe.

The ELECTOR project will develop, test, implement and evaluate an eHealth platform for home-based monitoring of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The proposed platform will encompass a web-based software for communication and data transfer in combination with a miniturised biochemistry device using blood retrieved by finger pricking for measuring C-reactive protein (CRP) at home. The end result is an eHealth platform that will provide an integrated and direct collection of data on the individual patient’s health status and disease activity and feed these data into patient notes in the set-up of an eHealth outpatient clinic for citizens with rheumatoid arthritis.

The adaptive and flexible nature of this solution will change the provision of health care and may be disseminated to monitor a variety of diseases.
During the first 30 months of the ELECTOR project, the device and assay partners have made remarkable progress in terms of finalizing the development of a CPR assay for home use and achieving a CE mark for the PoC device and biochemistry cartridge. These achievements now open the path towards a first generation cost-down production line that will enable a market introduction.
The ELECTOR software partner has finalized the ELECTOR ICT platform and app and is in the process of certifying the ELECTOR ICT solution. The ELECTOR software has been developed in close cooperation with clinical sites and end users in several European countries using a novel participatory design two-way process. This user feedback model has improved and safeguarded a better, more user-friendly interface, precise patient information and the incorporation of important user needs. The ELECTOR software is now in use in several national health care systems throughout the world.
The clinical partners carried out the first ELECTOR clinical trial during the second project period and are preparing a scientific paper presenting the interesting findings of the trial. The participating patients from several European countries willingly and easily adapted the ELECTOR eHealth solution and the novel clinical organizational set-up. The result of the patients’ self-monitoring aligned with the results of the same tests performed by professional HCPs. This result confirms the overall assumption of the ELECTOR ICT concept that patient involvement and empowerment are a natural element of future health care services within rheumatology and other chronic diseases.

Thus, user involvement and participatory design have continued to be in focus during the second project period. All partners have been involved in activities related to this and learnings from these participatory interactions, workshops and stakeholder interviews have been of huge importance to the project partners. Based on these motivations, aspirations, needs, expectations and societal aspects relating to relevant stakeholder groups in each of the participating countries have been mapped. This work will continue and is expected to impact the remaining part of the project.
The project has participated in popular and influential outreach events, such as the Oxford Science Festival and the People’s Political Festival in Denmark. These outreach events allowed the consortium to present the ELECTOR project and invite festival guests, professional people and political stakeholders to test the ELECTOR eHealth solution via hands-on workshops during the festivals. The above-mentioned outreach activities resulted in a well-received ELECTOR video (available online), which was part of the project’s non-scientific communication strategy and delivery. The activities and video also helped fulfilling the obligation of the consortium to further create awareness of the project and its partners on national and international media platforms in a non-scientific manner.

The management team has co-developed and finalized a series of pilot clinical trials concepts with the clinical partners and finalized a business plan for the whole ELECTOR consortium. This business plan is a ready-made strategy to be picked up and pursued after the end of the project. The management team has been occupied with the overall management and progress of the project and resources have been used to further ensure advancements of all the activities related to WP 1 to 6. In line with the first project period, the management team has continued to be engaged in analyses of existing and possible challenges that may impact the project, and with the identification and handling of activities related to dissemination and exploitation.
The expected progress beyond the state of the art described in the initial project proposal defined the project’s aims to provide patients, HCPs, the health care system and society with a novel disease management tool. In relation to these aims the project has progressed and delivered on the following aspects:
- In relation to the aim of advancing ICT elements to the users, the market and society at large, the medical device company has ensured a CE-marked device and biochemistry cartridge. The software company is underway in ensuring approvals of the ICT platform.
- With respect to the evaluation of user aspects the Consortium has completed more multiple national evaluations via our novel combination of participatory design and stakeholder evaluation process. This has been related to the ICT platform and its elements. The consortium has further perfected the participatory design and stakeholder evaluation process resulting in a “Parker model” that is now in use in other projects. The work with stakeholder involvement and feedback will continue. The project will keep focusing on harvesting findings in relation to the concept and the platform during the clinical trial no. 2.
- Concerning the documentation of the project’s impact the Consortium has completed more initial testing engaged in and completed discussions on health economy, reimbursement and organisational impact on national levels.
- The Consortium is continuously working on the dissemination and exploitation of ELECTORs clinical concept and the elements of the projects ICT platform, both with respect to business development and the initiation of subsequent projects.
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