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Open Medical Information Platform For Continuous Healthcare Services To European Travellers

Objective

The increased mobility of European citizens within Europe in conjunction with differences in health systems, language and culture in general, create a clear need for continuous and transparent healthcare provision to European travellers outside their country of residence, especially those with a chronic disease. The main objective of this project is to develop an integrated medical information platform, on a European level, that will ensure continuous cost-effective healthcare services to European travellers with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiac failure, and asthma. The project will address not only the technical aspects of this need but also the organisational and managerial aspects of such service by involving all players interacting to provide healthcare services on a European level. Using the concept of the Traveller Information Record (TIR) in association with Virtual Private Networks and an adapted microprocessor card, the proposed infrastructure will ensure seamless patient information availability and sharing throughout Europe, and will enable patients to take an active role in their personal healthcare. Thus, the proposed system will significantly improve healthcare provision to travellers with chronic diseases, reduce the administrative workload of insurance organisations when dealing with foreign healthcare institutions, and provide healthcare professionals with updated medical data and systems for treating patients coming from other countries. The project is primarily focussed on the "clinical" aspects of healthcare provision to travellers and, as such, it will interface current initiatives, like the electronic E111, mainly addressing the "administrative" aspects.

Objectives:
The aim of this project is to address the clear need for cost-effective and continuous provision of healthcare services to European citizens suffering from a chronic disease, outside their country of residence. In order to achieve this objective, an integrated medical information platform, on a European level, with the involvement of all healthcare provision players will be developed. The platform features a health smart card and allows easy and secure access to the patient's medical record and health insurance data.

The project objectives are to:
identify the needs for healthcare provision and intervention cost billing to European citizens with chronic disease outside their country of residence;
describe the workflow between the involved players and services to be provided;
develop an integrated, multilingual platform, by using health smart cards, for healthcare services provision and billing to European travellers;
assess the applicability and technical feasibility via field trials;
demonstrate the benefits of the new system based on measurable indicators;
demonstrate the feasibility by means of a business proposal and exploitation plan.

Work description:
Each traveller will be provided with a smart card, issued by his or her social security or insurance company. Before leaving his/her country of residence, the Traveller Information Record (TIR) is transferred via a virtual private network, to the local server located at the destination site. Should any health problem related to his/her chronic disease (or emergency) occur to the traveller in the destination country, contracted healthcare institutions or health professionals will provide the required care.

The healthcare services procedure is performed in two steps:
1. Authentication through the microprocessor card establishes communication between the card reader point and the local database and provides access to the traveller's information record.
2 After medical consultation or treatment, the system's information is updated on-line. In emergency cases, the required medical information can be retrieved directly from the smart card without any network support or connection.

The proposed system consists of: A central web server located in the citizen's country of residence, containing a database of a flexible and reliable Traveller Information Record.

The TIR will include:
a) demographic data and a photograph
b) medical history with laboratory and imaging examination results
c) drug profile and
d) administrative data covering insurance and cost of medical services. A local server located in the visiting country, which temporarily stores the TIR and establishes communication between the contracted parties.

A traveller personal smart card, will serve two distinct purposes:
a) providing a minimum required set of records, by containing emergency medical data, as well as demographic and administrative data, and
b) ensuring authentication and secure access to the system, as well as unique identification of the smart card holder. The user requirements will be identified and analysed in the early project phases and a detailed system specifications will be prepared.

Milestones:
The main project milestones are the proposed system requirement analysis and new service business modelling as well as the integrated system development and implementation. Validation and demonstration activities are expected to prove the benefits from the proposed system and lead the exploitation activities from the side of healthcare-related organisations as well as technical partners.

The expected results from the project can be divided in two main categories:
(a) the new MEDITRAV system comprising of an integrated information technology platform, and
(b) the new MEDITRAV service offered to travellers by insurance companies and healthcare providers.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

RATIO-CONSULTA SPA
Address
Via Di Vittorio G.10
20100 Corsico
Italy

Participants (7)

ATOS ORIGIN IT SERVICES UK LIMITED
United Kingdom
Address
4 Triton Square, Regents Place
NW1 3HG London
AZIENDA OSPEDALIERA DI PARMA
Italy
Address
Via Gramsci 14
43100 Parma
DATAMED S.A. HEALTHCARE INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Greece
Address
Fragoklisias 4
15125 Maroussi - Athens
HELSINGIN JA UUDENMAAN SAIRAANHOITOPIIRIN PERUSSOPIMUS
Finland
Address
Haartmaninkatu 4
00029 Helsinki
HITECH SNT S.A.
Greece
Address
Spartis 3
17673 Kallithea
INSTITUTE OF COMMUNICATION AND COMPUTER SYSTEMS
Greece
Address
Patission Street 42
10682 Athens
SOSIAALI- JA TERVEYSALAN TUTKIMUS JA KEHITTAEMISKESKUS
Finland
Address
Lintulahdenkuja 4
Helsinki