Improving Life in Rural Areas of the Baltic Sea Re.. (Baltic eHealth)
Improving Life in Rural Areas of the Baltic Sea Region by eHealth Services.
Start date: Aug 31, 2004,
End date: Aug 30, 2007
The overall goal of the project was to bring about fully developed eHealth solutions that can be directly put to use by health services throughout the Baltic Sea Region. Ten players in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania participated in the Baltic eHealth project.Baltic eHealth. The project wanted to connect existing national and regional healthcare data networks in the participating countries and carry out full-scale trials within eHealth. Furthermore, the project investigated the link between eHealth and rural migration. With eHealth the quality of healthcare provision can be raised, and this may be the factor that prompts a person to live in an outlying area. At the same time, eHealth may help in making employment in the health service in outlying areas more appealing. It becomes easier to attract the right personnel– and this too may boost the quality of the available health services.The eUltrasound pilot. In many countries it is common practice to offer an ultrasound scan at 18 weeks of pregnancy and it is frequently needed to have a second opinion from an experienced college when assessing the scans. eHealth can be of assistance since specialists in obstetrics and ultrasound often are situated at central hospitals in urban areas and not at a local rural hospital. Thus, the pregnant woman will receive better and faster information thereby improving the quality of care for her and her unborn baby.The eRadiology pilot. Denmark suffers from a lack of radiologists. This leads to vacant positions and discomfort to patients as they have to wait months for simple radiological examinations. The lack of radiologists is particularly noticeable at rural hospitals where up to a third of all positions can be vacant. To remedy the problem, x-rays taken at the Funen Hospital can be sent for description to a hospital in another country, which does not have a lack of radiologists. The purpose of the eRadiology pilot is therefore to test this type of solution between the Funen hospital and the radiological departments of Vilnius University Hospital and East Tallinn Central Hospital. In the pilot, it will be investigated if the solution is technically, financially, culturally and linguistically feasible. Achievements: The overall goal of the project was achieved as developed eHealth services were implemented in the Baltic Sea Region after the project end. Funen Hospital was entered into a contract with East-Tallinn Central Hospital and Vilnius University Hospital that continues the co-operation but now on normal business terms as the solution has been brought into normal production. The co-operation in the eUltrasound pilot has also been continued.An investigation on the link between eHealth and rural migration was conducted on the basis of a study among rural and urban settlers on their attitudes towards availability of healthcare services for choice of settlement. As eHealth is in its first stages still, the results were speculative but positive.All of the results of the Baltic eHealth project were presented at the final conference in Stockholm, Cross-border eHealth in the Baltic Sea Region. Close to 200 people attended the conference, which was held together with the eHealth for Regions project
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