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Patient@home Ready to Test Innovative Healthcare Technologies

Jørgen  Løkkegaard

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Patient@home Ready to Test Innovative Healthcare Technologies

Patient@home has now published the results from the project’s first three years. This publication also lays out the priorities for the last year, which mainly involve testing new technologies.

- A number of interesting sub-projects have been initiated, which can potentially reduce the hospitals' ressource consumption and increase patients' active involvement in their own health. In the latter half of the project all this will be translated into more concrete trials and implementation of new technologies and services, writes Director Peter Høngaard Andersen from Innovation Fund Denmark in the foreword of the publication.

Patient@home is the largest Nordic welfare research and technological innovation project, which since early 2012 has launched more than 60 research and development projects. Of these, 13 products and services have been completed with the active participation of 41 companies. In parallel, Patient@home effectively created the framework for a uniform and quantitative testing of promising new technologies that can pave the way for better and faster rehabilitation, several outpatient treatments, and hospital-quality care of patients in their own homes.

Patient@home is now entering its second and final phase and looks towards innovation projects. Now companies must be encouraged to make use of the new knowledge and research developed in the project's first period.

Robotics can relieve municipalities under pressure
Centre Manager Jørgen Løkkegaard from the Danish Technological Institute's Centre for Welfare and Interaction Technology is leading the innovation work of Patient@home and is therefore the person with the best overview of the many different projects. He says:

- Municipalities are being given responsibility for increasingly more welfare tasks. This is partly a consequence of the desire for less outpatient treatment at hospitals. But the municipalities have neither the resources nor the means to offer traditional outpatient treatments such as physiotherapy. One of the very tangible results of the project, due for market launch in 2018, is the Universal Robot trainer. The idea is developed around an industrial robot that will be able to support e.g. thrombosis patients to make specific movements that helps them regain functional capacity. Sensors in the robot help determine how much the patient should be supported so that the exercise automatically adjusts to the patient’s current level and progress. The need for individualization is huge and has led to development of a way for the therapist and patient together to determine the best training plan for the robot to use.

- It all sounds like a brave new world, but actually the results with this technology are very promising. Since many municipalities neither have the resources or the means to offer traditional physiotherapy, the idea of ​​a retraining robot that can be installed in a patient’s home is a huge help”, says Jørgen Løkkegaard and concludes:

- The expectation is that Patient@home both directly and indirectly contributes to innovation in producing solutions that will ensure that people can remain self-sufficient in their own homes as long as possible despite illness and loss of function.

The publication outlines the project’s development
This interim publication is published by Danish Technological Institute and gives the status Patient@home activities over the first three years. Under the themes Monitoring, Care at home, Rehabilitative Training, Knowledge and Information Management, Information and Communication Technology and Fast track the publication gives insight into the results from selected Patient@home projects. 

Download the midway publication in its digital form: