World Hypertension Day and Telemedicine
According to the OECD, 70% of all deaths in Slovenia are caused by chronic diseases (OECD, 2017), with an increasing number of people with known diabetes and hypertension. In addition to the existing strategies for the management of chronic diseases, which cause a high proportion of deaths in Slovenia, telemedicine is coming to the fore.
In the context of World Hypertension Day (17th May), we publish the key findings of an intervention and qualitative study among patients with chronic diseases (type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension), contributing to the awareness of the hypertension. Digital technologies provide the opportunity to develop telemedicine services for patients with chronic diseases, that can not only significantly improve their medical treatment, but also have a positive impact on their overall quality of life. Telemedicine service includes remote medical treatment using telemedicine devices without physical contact between the patient and the healthcare professional.
The research was conducted within the project Understanding and analysis of users’ needs for the development of e-services for integrated social and health care in the aging society (ARRS: L5-9337, project leader: assistant professor Dr. Andraž Petrovčič, other collaborating researchers: Dr. Vesna Dolničar, Dr. Simona Hvalič-Touzery and Dr. Katja Prevodnik) with support from Telekom Slovenije d.d., and University Medical Center Ljubljana. The purpose of the study is to investigate user experience, acceptance factors, and psychosocial outcomes related to telemedicine services and devices among chronic patients in family medicine teams.
In the last year, an adapted form of the telemedicine service tested in the project has also been used to monitor COVID-19 patients, patients with heart failure, and pregnant women with gestational diabetes. The project is thus making an important contribution to the development of this type of medical care, which is becoming increasingly important, especially in view of the coronavirus epidemic.