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The other AI: the Tesino “Remote Area”

5 March 2024 By

Gabriella and Giorgio live in Tesino, a high plateau in eastern Trentino on the borderProvince limit with Veneto.

Gabriella has heart disease, but she is doing well. And she knows this because every day she records her vital signs in an app installed on her tablet to monitor the progress of her disease.
Her husband Giorgio, 86, feels afer about his wife  thanks to technology. Every day, with dedication, he enters Gabriella’s blood pressure, weight, saturation and heart rate data into the TreC Cardiologia App.

Giorgio showed us how he uses the tablet and App with ease. And as he types values and selects parameters on the keyboard, he tells us what it means to have learned to independently monitor his wife’s health, but also his own
.”We feel safe, because we know there is constant monitoring” -George said – “It’s so useful because it allows us to store data without using paper and so we don’t risk losing it. For us, it’s great, because the patient feels safe. ” “I know that, If something is wrong,” Gabriella assured, “on the other side there is a nurse checking on me and sending me to see the doctor right away.”
All this is made possible thanks to the commitment and dedication of the family and community nurse, Elisa Menguzzo, who in the outpatient clinic in Pieve Tesino every week connects to the TreC Cardiology and TreC Diabetes dashboards to monitor the trends of the condition of the patients who have joined the project. For each of them, he can view graphs, check for any flags that indicate abnormal values, read notes entered by users, and even exchange texts with them via chat. “We have of course explained to patients that this is not instantant but asynchronous monitoring.”

With the opening of the outpatient clinic and the support of the nurse, it has been possible to achieve the goals of the project, and thus follow up discharged patients and telemonitor chronic patients (especially those with heart failure and diabetes). “It is important”-Nurse  Menguzzo said-“to give people the tools and information for them to become aware of their disease.  When a patient is able to do that, it means avoiding crises and hospitalizations, but it also means empowering them to recognize bad behaviors and habits.” Then, thanks to a collaborative network of health care providers in the community (specialist physicians, community hospital, nurses, GPs), the project has made it possible to provide people with a From bench to bedside… to people’s home! model of community medicine and inclusive care with the support of technologies.

The project took shape thanks to the actions of the Strategia Nazionale Aree Interne, coordinated by the Autonomous Province of Trento (and, in particular, the Department of Health and Social Policies), with the support of the TS4.0 team  and the collaboration of the Trento Province Healthcare System. The provincial and National Strategy goal is to develop more peripheral areas and bring health care closer to citizens, equipping them with useful innovative tools to support their health management. Tesino
is one of two areas (the other is Val di Sole) selected by PAT to test this form of community medicine and inclusive care. The activities in the Tesino valley, which has led the experimentation, have been ongoing for more than a year. Some data: in 2023 the patients followed by the Family and Community Nurse were 39 and the patients with TreC Cardiologia were 9 (however, enrollment is still ongoing). The service is also availabble in the Valsugana Community, where the first patients were enrolled in October 2023, and will be gradually extended to neighboring areas. An outpatient clinic was also opened in Tezze in January this year.

To facilitate these changes, the Province has implemented several actions, including meetings with local governments and associations, educational meetings with nurses and doctors, collaboration with registry counters, the widespread distribution of TreC+ flyers, the opening of the weekly TreC+ help desks in outpatient clinics and pharmacies, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles thanks to the Salute+ App.

 

In the Province of Trento, there are two Remote Areas:

  1. Tesino (PAT resolutions 1662/2020, 593/2021), which has become a prototype area for a new model of community medicine and inclusive care with the support of technologies;
  2. Val di Sole (PAT resolution 1235/2016, 820 and 1920/2019, 600/2023), which includes actions focused on:
  • more healthy life years
  • a person-centered social health system
  • technology support and telemedicine

Why are they important?

Two types of change have been targeted in Tesino:

  • Individual (knowledge: digital for citizens and health professionals; citizen empowerment: taking care of one’s own health)
  • Collective (organizational: model of care and treatment using technology; community responsibility of promoting healthy lifestyles).

 

Playlist: PROGETTI STRATEGIA NAZIONALE AREE INTERNE (TESINO E VAL DI SOLE)
SANITÀ DIGITALE IN TESINO (STRATEGIA NAZIONALE AREE INTERNE): INTERVISTA AL DOTT. ENRICO NAVA - APSS

In this 9-minute video you can listen to the testimonies of some of the people involved in the trial:

SANITÀ DIGITALE IN TESINO (STRATEGIA NAZIONALE AREE INTERNE): UTENTI E INFERMIERA DI COMUNITÀ


About the Author

Marzia Lucianer: Marzia Lucianer, giornalista scientifica, responsabile Press Office and Digital Communication di TrentinoSalute4.0