An applied model for implementation of innovative IT-solutions for telehealth into the healthcare system

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för teknikvetenskaper

Abstract:

Today, new technologies are introduced to the market every day, and constantly changing our way of living. Especially in the healthcare sector, the change process is approaching a point where doctors can benefit from the use of, for example, connected portable reading devices instead of paper-based medical record systems. The information and communication technology is promoting the evolution of a new pathway of care delivery, a paradigm shift that alters the fundamental relationship between a doctor and its patient. The concept is defined as telehealth and formulates the provision of care at a distance and provides the possibility to treat patients in their home environment instead of at the hospital.

This master’s thesis has been performed on the request of Cenvigo AB, a company active in the implementation of new IT-solutions into the healthcare and eldercare. Cenvigo AB are the owners of the Parkinson’s Digital Assessment (PANDA) application. The application has been developed through research at Dalarna University and Uppsala University Hospital.  This project will initiate the launch of PANDA and also create a model for implementation of innovative IT-solutions into the healthcare systems.

The model is founded in a theoretical framework and shaped with interviews related to the implementation of technology with a focus on telehealth applications. Interviews has been performed with healthcare professionals, technology developers and users to acquire a complete picture and opinions regarding the introduction of innovation in healthcare today. From the acquired information, a model is formulated as a stepwise and chronological linear process were identified key activities are included to promote a successful implementation process. The model is connected to the practice through the implementation of PANDA. In the process of implementing PANDA into the Swedish healthcare system, a collaboration with the innovation centre at Uppsala University Hospital as a healthcare organization stakeholder, has been initiated.

The model consists of five phases; Assessment, Dissemination, Adoption, Implementation and Continuation. The phases are seen as transitional steps in the innovation process, critical barriers to overcome towards a successfully implementation in a mainstream routine setting. Each phase includes a number of activities and to achieve progression in each phase, these activities must be performed in order to advance to the next phase. In the case of PANDA, the process of progression has passed assessment and are currently involved in activities related to the dissemination phase.

The purpose of the model is to be used both for existing and future applications in the segment of medicine technology sector. The structure of the model is designed to promote a co-design or a common value principle of development and practice regarding an innovation. By connecting actors from both technology and healthcare in close relationships the actual needs of healthcare professionals could more effectively be identified and developed into a solution, a result from the amplification of a two-way engagement. The outmost aim is to serve as a catalysing factor, complementing the implementation models of healthcare in Sweden today.

Through this study, a need for facilitating the implementation process of new technology into the healthcare systems has been identified. This model offers the necessary input that many technology companies lack. The recommendation to Cenvigo AB is to continue to develop the model during the last step in the process of launching PANDA, and parallel use this model as a business model mainly for technology start-ups and larger foreign companies that has not yet established pathways into the Swedish healthcare system.

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