Instituto Pedro Nunes, through the Laboratory for Automation and Systems, integrates project ROSIA “Remote rehabilitation service for isolated areas“, a project funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
The launch of ROSIA project “Remote rehabilitation service for isolated areas”
was officially marked this week at a kick-off event held online. This project represents 12 partners across 5 countries, and it is funded by the EU with an amount of EUR 5,5 million.
ROSIA project will deliver a comprehensive service to patients in need of rehabilitation, enabled by edge technology, new care pathways and community support.
Chaired by Mrs Sandra García (Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud, IACS), more than 30 participants shared their views about the significance of this project in improving the health and care systems in their respective regions. Sandra energised the Partners by stating that “we would be trailblazers as currently, there is no public health and care system that has implemented supported self-management rehabilitation on a large scale and facilitated by leading-edge technology. Our innovative approach to co-design and development of the integrated tele-rehabilitation care model and pathways will ensure ROSIA promotes equity in the provision of social and health care services throughout Europe.”
Health and care systems in Europe are facing the combined challenge of an increasing demand because of a rising burden of chronic conditions, and of limited resources. This situation is intensified in depopulated areas where there is often a high proportion of elderly people, and long distances to access some health and care services. Rehabilitation is a key component of care, treatment and support for many patients living with particular pathologies such as neurological, cardiac, and respiratory orthopaedic conditions. Patients often must travel to a specialist centre far from their homes in order to access rehabilitation services and this can be problematic for people, especially those with limited mobility, lack of their own or access to suitable transport, and informal carers. If a patient requires assistance with transport such as an ambulance, the inconvenience to the patient and their family is exacerbated with the result that some patients do not complete the rehabilitation programme and their recovery is suboptimal as they are unable to transition to the self-directed complementary exercise therapy that sustains the rehabilitation improvements.
The appearance of new disruptive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, depth cameras, sensors, IoT, or artificial intelligence has allowed the development of devices and applications capable of accompanying people in their rehabilitation process, proposing exercises in gaming environments, supervising their execution, correcting, and motivating the patient. ROSIA seeks to take full advantage of these developments for the benefit of patients, enabling more patients to receive rehabilitation services and increase the rehabilitation period through the extensive use of these disruptive technologies together with the supervision and support of their care team members.
Mr Claus Flemming Nielsen, CEO of PPCN, explained that “ROSIA will ensure each patient the privacy of their own data, while translating the valuable data into value-added knowledge to enhance shared decision-making, in an ethically, responsible, and safe environment”.
ROSIA will initially focus on seven pathologies: Chronic spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, pneumology, arthroplasty, cardio-vascular disease, hip fracture and COVID. Rehabilitation services are a core component of the care pathway, when these services are accompanied with moderate exercise, the care and experience outcomes are increased alongside improvements in patients’ quality and life expectancy.
ROSIA plans to create a catalogue of technology-based products and solutions that can be recommended for the targeted conditions. Currently there are many innovative digital solutions that have not yet reached the market because there are no efficient ways to enable the commercialization of such products. This catalogue will be one of the components of the ROSIA ecosystem and it works in two ways: it will make available high-tech innovations with positive clinical evidence and impact to patients and will open opportunities to the European industry to develop a GoToMarket strategy.
Professor Aine Carrol (NRH, Ireland) stressed that “technology is not enough; you have to understand the needs of people and the complexity of the health and care systems in order to design and develop solutions that can be effective and able to be scaled-up”. This is the reason why the ROSIA project has four key work areas: integrated model of care to provide care continuity for patients, high-tech telerehabilitation devices and services, improved patient experience and sustainable business modelling.
ROSIA addresses a need not currently covered by existing solutions, with the aim of a future scale up and therefore it uses a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) approach. This sort of project establishes and guides a research and development competition between 5 selected suppliers along 3 phases, with the last one consisting of the two finalists who will validate in real life the comprehensive, integrated solution.
The three public administrations investing in the development of the solution by industry and the validation are: Aragón (Salud) in Spain, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra (CHUC) in Portugal, and the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Ireland. The project is coordinated by IACS and supported by another eight entities with complementary profiles: VALDE (Spain), Instituto Pedro Nunes (Portugal), The International Foundation for Integrated Care (The Netherlands), The Decision Group (The Netherlands), Instituto para la Experiencia del Paciente (Spain), PPCN.xyz Aps (Denmark) and the Municipalities of Penela and Soure (Portugal).
Mr Alexandre Lourenço (CHUC) drew the attention to the fact that “the telerehabilitation model and digital solution designed, developed and tested in ROSIA should provide the basis for many more people living with Chronic conditions to receive rehabilitation services in the future”.
ROSIA has a planned duration of 54 months, starting from 1st January 2021 until August 2025.