The “Smart Inclusion” project was inaugurated today at the Pediatrics Department Onco-Haematology Ward at Padua Hospital, in a ceremony attended by Minister Renato Brunetta. The project has received funding from the Ministry of Government and Innovation, technological support from Telecom Italia, and benefitted from scientific coordination from the CNR-ISOF of Bologna.
This is the third rollout in Italy of “Smart Inclusion”, a fully-integrated technology platform that combines distance learning with entertainment and medical data management. The system offers long-term young patients easy and immediate access to the outside world, while at the same time offering healthcare staff advanced tools to help treat their young patients.
Designed specially for long-term patients on paediatric onco-haematology wards, “Smart Inclusion” fully leverages ICT’s potential to enhance the lives of people who are unable or incapable of enjoying a full and independent social life. Ever since its initial rollout by ISOF-CNR and Telecom Italia at the Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi at Istituto Comprensivo no. 6 Hospital in Bologna, Minister Renato Brunetta has strongly backed extending this initiative nationwide.
Installation of the system at the Padua Hospital Pediatric Department Onco-Haematology Ward follows on from the Bologna start-up and the system that went live at the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome on September 15. The system uses 26 “Smart Care” terminals in linkups with five elementary and middle school classes at the “Ardigo” comprehensive school.
The project leverages an innovative, wholly Linux-based Telecom Italia-assembled technological platform that complies with European Union recommendations by combining advanced performance with savings of around €1,000 per workstation, and €500 per hospital terminal. Leading-edge Olivetti “Smart Care” touchscreen video terminals next to patients’ bedsides are equipped with web cameras so that children can attend lessons, stay in touch with their loved ones, and access entertainment options simply by applying finger pressure.
The Schools Section of the system offers live lesson-time interaction with the classroom, teacher and pupils via interactive electronic blackboards installed in classrooms. The Smart Care Terminal also enables children to view recorded lessons, complete exercises, and take individual self-learning courses. The system is designed to interact with the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research’s Innova Scuola platform, and with traditional hospital ward education programmes.
The system’s Entertainment Section offers on-demand access to theme-based TV content ranging from cartoons to films, documentaries and sport. Patients may also use the system to make video calls to relatives. Even after they have left hospital, young patients may continue to follow their lessons from home via a web cam-equipped PC.
The Hospital Section of the system enables healthcare personnel to access and update clinical documentation. The terminal also assists in monitoring children’s condition, as the ward matron can view the patient on his/her terminal and respond to patient calls for assistance.
Following an agreement with the Ministry of Government and Innovation, the CNR-ISOF and Telecom Italia, Smart Inclusion will be rolled out to another four hospitals by mid-2010: it will be up and running before Christmas at the Azienda Ospedaliera Mayer in Florence, followed by the Ospedale Infantile Regina Margherita in Turin, the Ospedale Pediatrico Istituto G. Gaslini in Genoa, and the Fondazione IRCC Policlinico San Matteo in Pavia.
Padua, 12 December 2009