Consultation without visiting the doctor

Telemedicine for independent living in old age: the “Long Independent Living Assistant” project has investigated remote consultation in a technology-assisted living environment.

Basis

For elderly people to continue living as independently as possible, they, and the people in their social network, require advice, guidance and support. New support and advice models, such as telemedicine services and telemonitoring (e.g. of vital signs), can assist this objective.

Project

The “Long Independent Living Assistant” project consists of an Internet-based ambient assisted living assistant. This includes a documentation and communication platform with an integrated patient record. This enables selected individual vital signs to be documented and automatically dispatched telemetrically. This integrated solution comprises a telemedicine service based on a combination of telemonitoring and individual advice provided over the phone for people in a technology-assisted living environment. Patients can thus have consultations via telephone, video and e-mail with telemedicine doctors. The project included an intensive exploration of user requirements and an evaluation of the key features for acceptance, beneficial effects, required effective qualities of the assistant and telemonitoring for elderly people. User participation played a central role in this project.

The exploration of needs illustrated the challenge of tailoring services to the individual situations of end users. Widely differing affinities with technology and health requirements require a platform-independent application and monitoring equipment that is easy to use.

Interdisciplinary project team

Careum Research: Prof. U. Otto (Project Manager for the social science element of the project)
FHS St. Gallen CCG-FHS: Silvan Tarnutzer, Marlene Brettenhofer
FHS St. Gallen AAL-FHS: Beda Meienberger
University Hospital Zurich: Dr. med. habil. Christiane Brockes (Lead), Dr. med. Sabine Schmidt-Weitmann (Head of E-Health Department).

Development and implementation partners

emineo AG (Zurich) and other ICT companies
Additional consultancy by a scientific advisory board
Pilot location: Alterszentrum Hottingen home for the elderly (Stiftung Diakoniewerk Neumünster)

Funding

Swiss Federal Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI)

Duration

2013–2015

Further information

Find out more about the “Long Independent Living Assistant” project