Objectives of the service
The sudden advent of the pandemic crisis caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus put a strain on the organization and provision of social and health services. This is especially the case in isolated geographic areas with poor internet connections. The uncontrolled spread of the virus has also had important direct and indirect repercussions on the mental and physical health of elderly and frail people, due to the virus itself (direct) and, for example, to the imposed physical distancing (indirect).
The goal of SmartSatCare is to help citizens and socio-health workers to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 emergency in hard to reach regions..
SmartSatCare pursues a technological solution for both social and health care, based on the use of Smart TV sets, with the aim of providing remote assistance by taking advantage of satellite connectivity.
The focus of the project is also to overcome the difficulties typically associated with the use of technology, due to both lack of digital education and poor Internet connections.
Users and their needs
SmartSatCare addresses the needs of both frail citizens and socio-health professionals in the territory covered by the ASL CN2 of Alba / Bra (Cuneo region — Italy).
Due to both territorial and pandemic-related constrains elderly and frail people, their caregivers, and the socio-health workers are forced to remotely interact with the consequent impoverishment of assistive services.
The user needs include:
- the mitigation of problems arising from the decrease of home visits by operators or visits to the hospital by patients that happen due to emergency situations as in the case of the COVID-19 lockdown.
- paying remote visits as well as remote monitoring for treatments, medical consultations or follow-ups, ensuring a continuity of care, which may be crucial in patients with chronic diseases.
- allowing remote psychological support which is of particular relevance in situations of domestic isolation often made even harder by mobility problems or by the occurrence of COVID-19 quarantine.
- in the particular case of informal caregivers such as relatives, who would like to get access to information on treatment procedures and training events, as well as at providing the opportunity to join the meetings between the doctor and the loved ones through the use of telepresence tools.
Service/ system concept
The system will provide caregivers, both formal and informal, with relevant information with respect to the patients’ health status. Such information are agreed according to each single case and according to individual’s wishes. Additionally, thanks to the video call service, patients can be followed remotely by caregivers, to get medical parameters of relevance monitored, and benefit of psychological support.
The project comprehensive picture is give here:
Space Added Value
The broadband satellite Internet communication, using theKa-band, enables the deployment of the system in rural areas without Internet access or where the Internet infrastructure availability is limited and insufficient to provide sufficient bandwidth or reliability.
Combining this feature with a specific service/product design could make satellite Internet access even more effective for local/regional healthcare scenarios than general Internet connection using other terrestrial technologies like 4G or ADSL.
October 16, 2020: BDR Meeting passed.
October 9, 2020: Closing the documents for the BDR scheduled for next week!
September 30, 2020: the user requirement elicitation is ongoing. A focus group has been already held with caregivers representatives from ASL CN2 and associations delivering services to Alba and Bra citizens.
Here is a picture from one of the meetings: