Smartphones and special devices that transmit data via Bluetooth will remind elderly patients over 65 years when to drink their medications, when it is time to measure their blood pressure, pulse or when to go for a check-up.
This is a plan of the European Commission, supported by the Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, by the Sofia Municipality and district “Triaditza”. The pilot plan includes 100 retirees with at least one chronic disease, said the manager of the program Dr. Stoycho Katsarov from the Center for Protection of the Rights in Healthcare. “The goal is better health, safety and independent living for Bulgarians over 65 years,” added Dr. Katzarov. The analysis of the results will be used by the European Commission to develop a European policy for integrated health and social care.
The selected in Bulgaria patients satisfy the conditions to not be accommodated in a rest home, to be a receiver of at least of one social care service like a social or personal assistant, patronage, to be at risk of isolation and to not suffer from severe mental disorders. The smartphones and devices they have been given will not only monitor their life indicators, but also their body weight, the environment temperature, and their locomotor activity.
“All the data will be collected in a database, and it will register the medical and social care services received by the senior (meaning the diagnoses, the therapies, and the check ups),”- said Dr. Katzarov.
The expert said that an all-day call center will be built for a permanent connection with the project participants. It will include GPs and social workers. “The project is for the period of three years, and it was launched on the 1st of February this year, but the monitoring of patients starts on the 1st of February 2015,” – said Dr. Katzarov.
The cost of the initiative is € 5,000,000. Bulgaria receives € 500 000 and 250 000 of them – is non-repayable. “Once the program is completed, we can determine what kind of services seniors require, what are the problems they most often encounter. And our health and social services will know in which direction to focus their efforts and what is the required care, which we now lack that has to be provided,”- said the doctor. According to the EC this is the only way we can effectively manage the demographic changes and lifestyles in Europe and to focus on the lives of the elderly.