Periodic Reporting for period 1 - THALEA II (THALEA II - Telemonitoring and Telemedicine for Hospitals Assisted by ICT for Life saving co-morbid patients in Europe As part of a Patient personalised care program of the EU)
Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2020-11-30
Telemedicine has the ability to offer a solution to the aforementioned problems. By use of a telemedical approach on intensive care units (ICUs), patients will benefit from a consistently high quality of care, irrespective of where they live (rural vs. urban area). In addition, efficiency and safety outcomes with a reduction of ICU length of stay of 20-50 % can be achieved by the use of telemedicine and will consequently combat a lack of ICU beds.
THALEA II is the first ICT public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI), emerging from THALEA, a pre-commercial procurement (PCP) in the healthcare sector, serving a common demand in Intensive Care Medicine. It aims for purchase and implementation of a manufacturer independent solution for telemedicine in ICU. Through the implementation of THALEA solution, telemedicine on ICU care programs will be more effective and personalized solutions will be feasible. Furthermore, telemedicine application has the ability to streamline healthcare delivery processes, improve cost-efficiency while maintaining or improving patient safety.
The THALEA II project has two main objectives. Firstly, a radical new telemedicine system is purchased, meeting the identified need of ICU within telemedicine of the eHealth sector through innovative ICT solutions. Secondly, the THALEA PPI process, including its advantages and results, acts as pilot project for eHealth.
The project started in June 2016 with a consortium of five entities including three procurers. Due to the fact that THALEA II is a procurement project, the procurement departments and also legal departments had to be involved from day one. The call for tender documents are the central element of this project. Those documents include a "request for tender" document, a functional specification matrix, several procurement documents related to German procurement processes (lead procurer UKA, therefore German procurement law is applicable). Those documents had to be developed and finalized during the project.
Furthermore, dissemination and exploitation of project progress and results was one aim of THALEA II. Therefore, a project website had to be set up and maintained during project activities. Dissemination activities including a newsletter, regularly updating the project website, and involvement on fairs and congresses were also part of project work during the first project period. One extraordinary example for a dissemination activity held during the course of THALEA II was the presentation of THALEA on the digital summit 2017. Professor Gernot Marx presented the THALEA prototype to the German chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, who was very impressed by such a device and eager to see it in real life settings.
THALEA II as procurement project strives to maximize market impact by including as many procurers as possible, who identified the need of such a specific software solution for intensive care medicine. As a result, THALEA II consortium tried to increase their buyers group by searching for potential partners. This was executed by participation in congresses as well as participation on fairs, like the MEDICA. There were several interested parties during the search process, which led in the end to one additional procuring partner from Vienna, Austria. In addition, THALEA consortium wanted to stay informed on recent developments in the sector of intensive care medicine and data extraction software solutions. Therefore, an open market consultation (OMC) had been performed. Due to the fact that THALEA II is an active procurement project, the OMC was performed as an online questionnaire, in order to prevent market agreements, respecting transparency and equality as leading principles in the procurement process.
One of the most crucial elements of a purchasable THALEA II solution is a certification as medical device, which makes it possible to use the product in daily care practices. This process took the industry longer than expected, which led to a shift in timing with respect to the call for tender. However, a sound time line for the call for tender, as well as the following deployment and evaluation phase could be developed. Finalization of call for tender documents, joint procurement agreement and open market consultation could be realized during the first project period.
After deployment of THALEA solution in hospitals it is expected that deterioration as well as length of stay and death will improve for intensive care patients. Consequently, hospitals and society will benefit from positive socio-economic impacts and reduction of intensive care medicine costs.