VICO seeks to assess the impact of cultural differences within Europe on health care telematics operation and marketing which may be compromised by contrasted social attitudes. Activities will involve partners in health care telematics, sociology and business which have long had to tackle this problem. The focus will be on typical situations affecting telematics development or customers, in which cultural diversity may lead to problems. Personal cultural profiles and recommendations for conflict resolution, with special attention to telematics development and transfer, will be produced for subsequent further discussion.
Culture is in the driver's seat for the entry of the citizens of Europe in the Information Society : culture manifests itself in the social behaviour of people, in their approach to solving problems, & also in the products resulting from their activities. Products & services embody the cultural values of the people who developed them.
The collision of the cultural differences that are embedded in telematics products & services, with the cultural diversity that rules over European health care providers, makes the use of common technical products & services difficult. It also hampers the development of a large scale market for European industry.
In order to reduce the effects of cultural diversity, large efforts are made to standardise as many aspects of healthcare activities as possible. But this approach has limitations. VICO attempts to make cultural values explicit, and to understand and control the impact of culture on the creation & deployment of Telematic Systems, Services and Applications (TelSSAs). VICO will put at work, in healthcare telematics, an approach that has been fruitful, for 15 years, in the business management area.
The VICO consortium comprises partners from three professional areas : health care telematics, business management, sociology. VICO merges experience from the management of cultural diversity among international companies, from industrial developers of health care telematics systems & services and from several European Union R & D projects in telematics.
VICO will built on the analysis of concrete situations, particularly sensitive to cultural diversity, from the points of view of the developers and potential customers of TelSSA's.
VICO will produce a description of the cultural profiles of the actors, of methods for the resolution of cultural conflicts, and of prototypical situations in health care telematics (in reference to transferability issues, development / integration methods of TelSSAs, change management and technological capacity). VICO will also produce guidelines to address cultural diversity in the development or in the acceptance / selection of TelSSAs. A workshop will conclude the project and contribute to the diffusion of its concepts and methods.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts