|Rijeka Pilot Site|
Rijeka pilot site, one of the seven pilot sites in the ValueCare project, is led by the research team from the Department of Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Croatia – MEDRI. The MEDRI members in the project are Vanja Vasiljev – pilot site leader, Lovorka Bilajac, Mihaela Marinović Glavić, Denis Juraga, Sven Maričić, Ivana Godnič & Tomislav Rukavina.
Before the implementation phase of the project, each pilot site had to organise co-design activities to co-create the ICT supported value-based approach together with older people/patients, health and social care professionals, informal caregivers, health and social care managers and IT experts. During two rounds of co-design activities, Rijeka pilot site research team organised 12 focus groups, 12 interviews and a national seminar. These activities involved more than 120 participants from the above mentioned target groups.
The main target groups in the implementation phase of the project in Rijeka pilot site are older people that had myocardial infarction and completed the rehabilitation process, formal and informal caregivers and corresponding health care professionals. As the implementation phase is supported by the ValueCare digital solution, older people will use smartwatches that monitor vital parameters (heart rate, calories burned, number of steps, daily distance covered and sleep quality). ValueCare mobile application consists of the Virtual Coach and other features such as video call to health professionals, chat, educative video and text materials, that were defined during the first and second round of co-design activities as unmet health needs of the patients. The Virtual Coach will support older people to be physically active, adhere to their medication and motivate them to eat healthy.
As the leader of Work Package 4, MEDRI team is responsible for monitoring implementation of the innovative ValueCare concept in seven pilot sites, adapting the general concept to each pilot site, the end-user recruitment rate, collecting data from all pilot sites and analysing the pilot sites’ interventions in close cooperation with the leader of Work Package 5, Erasmus Medical Centre. In order to manage all pilot sites and track their progress, Rijeka pilot site research team organised more than 30 teleconferences over the last year.
In addition to constant communication with stakeholders at local, regional and national levels, Rijeka pilot site developed a pilot site-based website, a Facebook page to inform interested citizens and stakeholders about the project in general and the activities carried out, and the ValueCare YouTube clip, which was later compiled by IFIC. The research team of the Rijeka pilot site also organised the 8th International Symposium “Health for All?!” as an online event where the ValueCare project was presented to the scientific community. The symposium was thematically dedicated to the impact of the pandemic on health, health and social welfare systems as well as the achievements of biomedical science from the beginning of the pandemic and hosted eight eminent experts from different scientific fields. A total of 99 participants from various international and national institutions attended the symposium.