Sixth EEPE event of the Interreg Europe project ITHACA


On 3rd and 4th of October the sixth of nine Exchange of Experience and Peer Evaluation (EEPE) events took place in Ljubljana. EEPE was organised by members of Centre for Social Informatics from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Vesna Dolničar, PhD (head of the project), Mojca Šetinc, Tomaž Burnik and Simona Hvalič Touzery, PhD. Actively involved in the organisation were also Drago Rudel, PhD (MKS Ltd.), Vesna Stanić (AS), and Gregor Cuzak (ECHAlliance).

The event began with the short introduction in the evening of October 2 in the Chamber hall at the University of Ljubljana. After the welcome speech by the head of International Research Projects unit at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Mrs. Irena Brinar and head of the project at the University of Ljubljana, assoc. prof. Vesna Dolničar, PhD, participants listened to the presentations of Slovenian health and long-term care systems, current state-of-the-art in the fields of eHealth and eCare (presentation by Mrs. Živa Rant from National Institute of Public Health), and uptake of eHealth and eCare services and Slovenia. At the end, representative of the Liverpool partner, Jon Dawson, briefed the delegates about the peer evaluation process.

In the morning of the first day, which took place in parallel with the Festival for the Third Age in Cankarjev dom, about 35 foreign delegates from project partner regions and around 30 Slovene guests, were welcomed by assoc. prof. Vesna Dolničar, PhD, Mrs. Ulla Hudina Kmetič (European Commission Representation in Slovenia), Mrs. Marija Pukl (Slovene Federation of Pensioners’ Associations) and Mr. Davor Dominkuš (Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities). Afterwards, during the session hosted by representative of the lead partner (Noord-Brabant) Marielle Swinkels and Vesna Dolničar, PhD, delegates got acquainted with Active Ageing Strategy (Aleš Kenda, Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities), current challenges in the field of long-term care (Andreja Rafaelič, PhD and Isabelle Querrioux, MD, Long-term Care Directorate at the Ministry of Health), call for national ICT pilot project by Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (Urška Stepanek), and evaluation plan/strategy of the pilot project in the field of long-term care (Anita Jacović, Long-term Care Directorate at the Ministry of Health). After the presentations, Marielle Swinkels moderated the discussion with delegates and presenters, during which some points of the presentations were further highlighted and discussed.

The second part of the morning of the first day of the EEPE was moderated by Drago Rudel, PhD. During his session, eight representatives of Slovenian enterprises (SRC Infonet, Mikropis, iHelp, Eurotronik, Gospodar zdravja, Feelif, Spominčica) presented their innovative health and care solutions. After the presentations, delegates had a chance to see the functioning of the presented solutions at the stands.

The afternoon part was hosted by the University Medical Centre. After the welcome speeches by Aleš Šabeder (CEO), prof. Jadranka Buturović Ponikvar, PhD (Medical Director) and Dominika Oroszy, MD (Assistant of Medical director for Quality), Mrs. Oroszy presented the development of a smart system of integrated health and social care in the EKOSMART project. Her presentation was followed by presentations on practical applications of innovative solutions: telemedicine services for patients with chronic heart failure (Gregor Poglajen, PhD, Department of Cardiology), robotic surgery in urology, at the Department of Urology at the Division of Surgery (Simon Hawlina, Urology Consultant), tele-stroke Program (Matija Zupan, PhD, Department of vascular neurology and intensive care, Neurology Division), Medical Simulation Centre (Dušan Vlahovič, MD, Head of Medical Simulation Centre) and e-Care by Telekom Slovenije (Elena Nikolavčič, eCare and eHealth, Telekom Slovenije).

Second day began with a trip to University Rehabilitation Institute, where prof. Zlatko Matjačić, PhD, presented their research and development in the field of rehabilitation after stroke and IRIS smart home. Afterwards, delegation moved to European Union House, where prior to feedback, two sessions took place. The first, the presentation of the ecosystems in the field of eCare and eHealth in Slovenia was hosted by Gregor Cuzak. The following ecosystems were presented: ECHAlliance/Healthday.si (Gregor Cuzak, ECHAlliance), Ljubljana Technology Park – Initiative Start:Up Slovenia (Mojca Cvirn, Technology Park Ljubljana), EkoSmart (Aleš Smokvina, Marand), Slovenian Coalition for public health, environment and tobacco control (Mihaela Lovše, “NGOs protect our health” project) and Network NVO 25×25 – a network of non-governmental organisations in the field of health (Franc Zalar, Slovenian association for Cardiovascular Health). In the second session, the innovative solutions providing social assistance to older adults were presented. Presenters in the session hosted by Simona Hvalič Touzery, PhD, were representatives of the following end-user origination: Slovene Federation of Pensioners’ Associations: Elderly for the elderly project, Simbioza Genesis, social enterprise:  Simbioza BTC City Lab - innovative hub of technology for older adults, Oreli Institute: Innovative model for supporting older people in the local community, Slovene Philanthropy, Association for promotion of voluntary work: The program of intergenerational community centers, Peter Uzar home for older people: Holistic approach to care for people with dementia in the home for older people, and Anton Trstenjak Institute for Gerontology and Intergenerational Relations: The Slovenian Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. The morning part of the second day of the event was concluded with the presentation of the telemedicine support to patients with chronic diseases for better self-management at home in the Slovenj Gradec General Hospital by Cirila Slemenik Pušnik, MD.

In the afternoon, delegates discussed their experiences and impressions, which were presented in the feedback session prior to the EEPE conclusion.

Official project website: https://www.interregeurope.eu/ithaca/. More information about the project is available on project’s Facebook page and Twitter account (@ITHACA_health).