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Recent times have greatly encouraged increased education and learning online. EHTEL has started to organise a series of webinars. The EHTEL Innovation Initiative has focused on innovation-related activities through a couple of very interesting projects, vCare and NWE-Chance.

vCare considers hospitalisation at home as a really important topic. The vCare team is developing a bundle of useful materials about virtual coaches. They highlight the shift of rehabilitation to home and how digital therapies/artificial intelligence can help throughout the whole lifecycle of treatment and care.

Background: vCare fills a gap in long-term rehabilitation. As the vCare team highlighted in the April 2020 newsletterone out of six people in the European Union has a disability (often caused either by an acute episode or a chronic disease). Suitable rehabilitation is essential to enable people to live independently while enhancing their quality of life even as they get older. Sadly, the continuity of care is often interrupted as the person moves from the hospital to home.

Virtual coaches and how they help: Coaching at home can help people who are moving between hospital and home to obtain a personalised form of rehabilitation. But coaching at home can be difficult to put in place. Virtual coaches offer a key technology to ensure continuity of care. This form of coaching can reinforce self-management, enhance adherence to a care plan and risk prevention, and – ultimately – empower patients.

The vCare concept: Virtual coaching happens over web-based chat, often complete with a video. But the vCare concept goes much further. It includes avatars, serious games, and sensors. Its aim is to enable a patient’s rehabilitation pathway to be personalised, and offered at-a-distance.

Three examples: a use case, a video, and a presentation.

1.  The vCare concept of using a virtual coach at home is shown in an illustration of a frail, elderly woman from Milan, Italy, called Maria, who is now back in her own home:

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2. A lively example, called “Setting the scene”, is about Mr Georghe who is about to leave hospital. In this two-minute long video, he is supported by his hospital doctor to understand how to use a virtual coach. Watch the video below or on Youtube.

3. In a 3 June 2020 presentation, Riccardo RE and Massimo CAPRINO of CCP, Milan, Italy describe the wider linkage between digital therapies/artificial intelligence to the whole lifecycle of neuro-rehabilitation treatment and care. Watch the video below, or on Youtube



More than ever before, perhaps, the spring 2020 COVID-19 crisis has shed new light on the key importance of continuous clinical support while putting the patient in control.


Another European Union-supported project, NWE-Chance, has presentations and videos on the same themes.


- Have a look at EHTEL’s latest hospital-at-home related webinar (video and presentations available)

- For more vCare related videos visite the Youtube channel

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