Regional ICT based Clusters for Healthcare Applications and R and D Integration

The RICHARD project arose from the need to make healthcare systems more efficient while managing effectively their costs. ICT can be a major change agent in this process, but only if systemic aspects are duly taken into account, such as the interrelation of ICT with organisational and non-technological components of healthcare systems. To do so, a significant shift is necessary to evolve from an application-based model, to a comprehensive and sustainable chronic care model, likely to be adapted to the broadest possible range of chronic conditions.

Chronic diseases represent for healthcare systems the heaviest cost burden.
Aside from the social costs interms of suffering, they account for 70% on European average of public healthcare systems in the EU. A plethora of ICT-based applications have been developed in the last years, allowing to tackle at least partially problems related to specific pathologies. However, even advanced experiences have had limited impact, mostly focusing on pilot applications entailing little or no change on the whole healthcare system.

The RICHARD project therefore focused its analysis on the pathologies-specific ICT applications being implemented in leading European regions and elaborated a Joint Action Plan oriented to the integration of those technologies for the deployment of sustainable chronic care models for European regions.

The RICHARD Consortium included 15 partners in Italy, Sweden, Poland and the UK. The RICHARD website is here. RICHARD was an FP7 Regions of Knowledge Health Funded Project of the EU.