New teleconsultation system for the Primary Care Centers of Barcelona

i2CAT Foundation and the Health Department of the Barcelona City Council have launched, together with the Primary Care Center “Sardenya” and the College of Physicians, a pilot testing to facilitate, through a technology platform, the contact between the GP and the patient who has mobility difficulties. The device will allow, via computer or smartphone, establishing a visual and interactive contact between both of them so that the GP can remotely assist, monitoring and control the patient. The system will simulate aspects of the environment of a real consultation, such as the GP is who calls the patient to access in the room or he gives paper notes to the patient. Currently, the computer version is being tested and the smartphone version is in development stage.

The device aims to be a useful tool for people with reduced mobility or chronically ill patients, who have trouble moving to the health care center for medical monitoring. In many cases, when they are not able to do so, the GP must be who goes to the patient's home to monitoring and control the patient. This fact represents a high consumption of economic and personnel resources for visits, which often do not require face care.

The mechanism works through the patient’s computer or mobile device. Once it is confirmed that the teleconsultation can be proceeded, the GP contacts on the day and time agreed with the patient through the digital platform. During the connection, the GP and patient can watch each other on the screen by a teleconsultation system, so the GP can see the patient's general conditions and his environment.

Moreover, during the teleconsultation, the GP can see at the same time the patient’s medical records, and can write down the results of the virtual visit in the patient clinical history.

The digital platform developed by i2CAT is designed so that in the future other tools for patient monitoring and control as constant measurement, forms, tests or parameters evaluation can be added. In addition, in a second phase, we will study the possibility that the system allows downloading electronic prescriptions and biomedical data collection through devices.

To facilitate the connection, the patient must have a smart device with front camera and internet connection. For the introduction of new services, the system may need devices with Bluetooth and API to make vital signs measurements.

This experience, which currently is being tested in forty patients of the Primary Care Center “Sardenya”, will be extended to other Health Centers of Barcelona, like “Larrard”, “Vila Olímpica” and “Barceloneta”.

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