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Summary of the Setember 2010 22@Update Breakfast
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ICT and its applications in the Healthcare field

Evolving in the field of technology is a fundamental aspect of most professional arenas. In healthcare it is also key and can open up a huge range of possibilities in the near future. If technical innovations are applied wisely and people’s habits adapt to the changes, technology can give healthcare professionals and users the right tools to make their relationship easier.

Summary of the Setember 2010 22@Update BreakfastSummary of the Setember 2010 22@Update Breakfast

The September 22@Update Breakfast was held at the new headquarters of the Nurses Association of Barcelona, at the Espai Pujades 350. President of the Association, Ms. Mariona Creus Virgili, kicked off the event by thanking the 22@ district for having chosen their facility to hold the first Breakfast of the 2010-2011 season.

The innovative possibilities that ICT offers in the Healthcare field were the focus of the event. Executive president of the TICSalut Foundation, Mr. Joan Cornet, gave a unique overview, reminding participants of the changes in society over the past 100 years, which have led us to the current digital era. This evolution can also be analyzed in the specific area of healthcare. Joan Cornet made it very clear that the most important change in this area came about with the digitalization of data.

“The most important change in Healthcare came about with the digitalization of data.”

With digitalization came important innovations: shared medical histories, which allows the public to access their own medical history; electronic prescriptions, which now account for 80% of the total in Catalonia; and telemedicine, which is still in the pilot stages but allows a number of medical centers to work together to diagnose a patient. President of the TICSalut Foundation, Joan Cornet, explained that evolution is taking place in the field of Healthcare but it is more difficult to change people’s habits, both professionals and patients. Cornet explained that he is in favor of people managing their own healthcare, being up-to-date on their current situation.

This month’s innovation was presented by the Nurses Association of Barcelona (COIB). Manager of the Association, Mr. Josep París, explained the internal organization. The Association has 38,000 members and their main aims include protecting the interest of their members and, at the same time, guaranteeing quality care for the public. With the aim of modernizing, the COIB presented the Horizon 2010 project in 2003. This initiative, according to Josep París, has allowed them to promote social values in the institution, making it more useful, coherent and transparent, and bringing it closer to members.

The COIB inaugurated their new headquarters in the 22@ district in January 2010. From this modern facility located at the Espai Pujades 350 they will face the challenges of the future. The manager of the Nurses Association of Barcelona, Josep París, pointed out that these new challenges include implementing digital signatures, improving CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), and Barcelona’s bid to hold the 2017 International Congress.

“We want Barcelona to hold the 2017 International Nursing Congress”


One of the other ambitious initiatives of the COIB, and the focus of the September 22@Update Breakfast, is Virtual Nursing, an ICT tool for education and promoting health. Ms. Gisel Fontanet, technical director and coordinator of this project, explained the new portal at the breakfast. Fontanet explained that in 2005 the Association realized that they needed to give people the freedom to make their own decisions regarding healthcare. This realization led to the creation of the Virtual Nursing project, which began in May 2009 with a pilot program involving 250 professionals and 250 users.

Virtual Nursing aims to educate people and give them the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions."

Gisel Fontanet pointed out that the new portal is aimed at all people, “healthy or not” and helps control follow-ups and prevention. Fontanet assured participants that Virtual Nursing doesn’t intend to be a substitute for healthcare professionals, but a complementary service. The new portal is an online network based on collective expertise.It collects contributions from users but always under the supervision of a team of healthcare professionals, who review the contents.

On the website (www.infermeravirtual.com) users can find contents focusing on health and daily activities, specific situations in each stage of life, and health problems. According to Gisel Fontanet, the webpage is like an interactive warehouse of information, where contents are interrelated, “giving users access to links as they explore the site.” This innovative project is allowing the COIB to develop synergies with other organizations like the Catalan Department of Health, the TICSalut Foundation, the Basque Department of Health and a number of specialized website in the healthcare field.

Once the new portal is up and running, the COIB wants to move the project toward investment in quality, creating a virtual identity and participating in social networks. According to Gisel Fontanet, key future goals for this project include bringing the new tool to the public, offering advice, using television channels, implementing the web in healthcare centers, and giving the portal international projection.

After the presentation from the Innovator of the month for September, the 22@Update audience heard the latest news from the 22@ district from managing director of 22@Barcelona, Mr. Josep Maria Piqué. Afterwards, Mr. Josep Maria Vila, president of the 22@Network, went over the most significant activities the association is preparing in the near future. BCN Design Week, for example, will take place in the 22@Barcelona district from 18 to 22 October.

Key Ideas

In the Healthcare sector, digitalization has led to great improvements like shared medical histories, electronic prescriptions and telemedicine.

Healthcare professionals agree that it is important for people to manage their own health and be aware of their current situation.”

"The Nurses Association of Barcelona has set aims like implanting digital signatures, improving CSR and presenting a bid to hold the 2017 International Nursing Congress in Barcelona. ”

• The focus of this month’s 22@Update Breakfast was Virtual Nursing, a new ICT tool to educate and promote healthcare that is managed by the COIB. According to the portal’s technical director, Gisel Fontanet, the webpage works like an interactive warehouse of information, where users can find links as they explore the site.

Participants Speak

I think it was about time to focus on the healthcare field. We also have to learn to value innovative initiatives in our sector. Events like today’s make you realize that we need to be more ambitious and set new goals to continue evolving.”

This isn't the first time I’ve come to one of these Breakfasts, but today’s event seemed really beneficial. Plus, the facility is really great!

Today’s speakers focused on topics that were a bit too far out of my field but I’m leaving, at least, with new ideas in my head. Hearing about others’ good ideas always help you come up with your own new ideas.”

Recommended links:
Nurses Association of Barcelona: http://www.coib.cat/
Virtual Nursing: http://www.infermeravirtual.com
TICSalut Foundation: http://www.gencat.cat/salut/ticsalut/

Documents liked:
  • Presentation of Ms. Gisel Fontanet Cornudella, technica director and coordinator of thr Virtual Nursing program..
  • Presentación of Mr. Josep París Giménez, Manager.

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