The ValueCare Project in Ireland: Cork/Kerry Pilot
The University College Dublin (UCD) research team made great progress in 2021 for the Irish ValueCare pilot. The central focus of the project this year was the design and implementation of the ValueCare app within Cork and Kerry care settings. Although the Covid-19 safety restrictions meant that most data collection was conducted online via focus groups and interviews, the team were determined to ensure that sessions were engaging and captured the lived experiences of its key stakeholders, i.e., older citizens (75+), family caregivers, health and social care professionals.
The first round of co-design aimed to identify the needs of its stakeholders and how these needs could potentially be addressed though digital health technology, while the second round sought to gather feedback regarding a prototype of the ValueCare app and ensure it met their needs and values. In September 2021, Dr Andrew Darley visited the Cork Integrated Care Programme for Older People (ICPOP) Hub to meet the clinical team in person and see how the community care hub works in practice. In October 2021, the ValueCare technology partners from the Bruno Kessler Institute, Italy visited UCD in which an online workshop with health and social care professionals was organized to design and align the ValueCare app to their current clinical practice. The team applied for ethical approval through UCD and Clinical Research Ethics Committee in Cork of the Cork Teaching Hospitals to commence data collection in Spring 2022.
The ValueCare National Steering Group met regularly throughout 2021 to guide and advise on the project’s progress including representatives from the ICPOP, Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) Department of Digital Transformation, Age Friendly Ireland and University College Cork. As The ValueCare Project was chosen as one of Ireland’s Digital Health Living Labs in 2020, which seek to accelerate the co-creation and adoption of digital health solutions, the team collaborated with this supportive network to establish ValueCare in Ireland’s developing digital health landscape.
The UCD team presented the project progress at findings at a national and international level including ICIC21, University College London’s Centre for Behaviour Change 7th International Conference, Family Carers Ireland Virtual Knowledge Exchange and the HSE Digital Academy Forum. These presentations were helpful in raising awareness about the project and hearing feedback from experts in the field regarding the development of the technology and the needs it seeks to address. The team also submitted a paper to an international peer-reviewed journal regarding their experience and lessons learned of conducting co-design in an online setting and are awaiting editorial decision.
The UCD team would like to thank all their collaborators in Cork and Kerry, Steering Group Members, co-design team and gatekeepers and anyone who has supported the project this year. We look forward to working with you next year to bring the ValueCare vision to life!
The UCD team would also like to wish the very best to ValueCare Project Manager, Aveen Murray, in her retirement and thank her for her support and contribution to the project.
Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
You can watch two recording of recent presentations below: