"Smart Inclusion" comes to Florence

03/10/2010 - 06:12 PM

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Ministry for Public Administration and Innovation, Telecom Italia and CNR inaugurated at the Meyer hospital's onco-haematology ward.
The initiative enables young patients to take part in social life and connect to school and home, as well as allowing doctors to optimize treatment process management.

The “Smart Inclusion” project was inaugurated today at the Meyer Hospital’s Paediatric Onco-Haematology Ward in Florence, at a ceremony attended by Minister Renato Brunetta. The project has been made possible thanks to support from the Ministry of Public Administration and Innovation, Telecom Italia’s technology input, scientific supervision from the CNR-ISOF of Bologna, and funding from the Tuscany Regional Administration and the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.

This is the fourth implementation of the project in Italy, and the latest step forwards in the plan to extend Smart Inclusion nationwide. The plan has garnered strong support from Minister Renato Brunetta; the project was first unveiled on 6 February 2009, when ISOF-CNR and Telecom Italia installed the system at the Policlinico S.Orsola–Malpighi and the Istituto Comprensivo n. 6 in Bologna.

Specially designed for long-term patients at paediatric onco-haematology wards, “Smart Inclusion” is based on an all-in-one technology platform conceived by Telecom Italia that combines distance learning, entertainment and clinical data management services. The system allows children simply and immediately to enjoy a social life and connect to their school and homes. It also enables healthcare professionals to use advanced tools to support treatment of their young charges. The project is based wholly on open source technologies, in compliance with European Union recommendations, and offers advanced performance as well as generating savings of around €1,000 on each workstation and around €500 on each hospital terminal.

The advanced Olivetti “Smart Care” touchscreen video terminals used in the project are equipped with a video camera and a bedside workstation. Simply by applying finger pressure, children can interact with their classmates and attend lessons, thanks to classroom installations of Smart School workstations linked to interactive whiteboards and multimedia teaching totems. Young patients can also access entertainment via themed TV channels and interactive games, or videoconference with their relatives at home. The Smart School workstations also allow teachers, students and family members to access the “Innova Scuola” Portal, where they will find teaching materials, multimedia exercises, and a full range of tools developed to meet the specifications recommended by the Ministry of Education, University and Research, and the Department for the computerization of public administration and technological innovation.

The Paediatric Onco-Haematology unit project at the Meyer Hospital in Florence uses 17 “Smart Care” terminals to integrate all of the children on the ward into five Province of Florence schools: the Don Minzoni Elementary School, the Masaccio Middle School, the Leonardo da Vinci Scientific High School, the Machiavelli Classics High School, and the Pascoli Languages High School, which, together, are providing a total of 20 connected classes. The educational side of the project has been developed in partnership with the Tuscany Regional Administration, which provided funding for the hospital/schools interconnection network, and all of the school-based workstations.

The Smart Inclusion project is already up and running at the Policlinico Sant’Orsola in Bologna, the Ospedale Bambino Gesù in Rome, and the Azienda Ospedaliera in Padua. Contracts have already been signed by the Ministry for Public Administration and Innovation, the CNR-ISOF and Telecom Italia to take the project into another 8 hospitals by the end of 2010, including the Ospedale Pediatrico Istituto G. Gaslini in Genoa, and the Ospedale Infantile Regina Margherita in Turin.

Florence, 10 March 2010