Health-circuit Evaluation as a Digital Support for the Management of Patients at Risk of Hospitalization

2019-08-20 20:17:18 | BioPortfolio


Background - There is a high potential for hospitalization prevention through: (i) a greater continuity of care, achieved by facilitating collaborative work among professionals at different levels of care, and (ii) improving the self-efficacy of patients. For both objectives, the support of appropriate information and communication technologies is essential. The study raises the hypothesis that an industry 4.0 system, Health-Circuit, based on communication technologies and intelligent collaboration, will facilitate a greater continuity of care and an improvement in patients' self-efficacy.

Objective - Analysis of Health-Circuit's potential for improving the continuity of care and self-efficacy of chronic patients at risk of hospitalization.

Material and methods - Controlled, single-blinded, randomized trial by primary care teams, with a 2:1 intervention-control ratio. The first phase of the study (September-November 2019) will be carried out in 75 patients from the primary care area of Barcelona Esquerra under the influence of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona (CAPSBE, 110k inhabitants). In the intervention group, the patients, and the corresponding healthcare professionals, will communicate and collaborate though Health-Circuit, while the control group will receive conventional treatment. In a second phase (beginning December 2019), the study will be extended to the entire healthcare area of Barcelona Esquerra (AISBE, 520k inhabitants).

Expected results - From a clinical perspective, a reduction in the number of urgent face-to-face visits is expected at: (i) Hospital; (ii) Primary Care, or, (iii) Primary Care Emergency Centers, due to better continuity of care and greater self-efficacy of patients. However, the results sought in Phase I of the study will be, fundamentally: (i) the evaluation of the usability and acceptability of Health-Circuit for patients and professionals, and (ii) the analysis of the potential of the digital tool for the management of complex clinical processes with the help of intelligent bots. In phase II of the study, the central objectives will be (i) increase in the capacity to resolve events, and (ii) improvement of patients' self-efficacy.


The present investigation develops in the framework of the EU project CONNECARE "Personalized Connected Care for Complex Chronic Patients (H2020 - BHC25 - 689802), whose registration number in the medical research ethics committee of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona is HCB / 2018/0803. CONNECARE assumes that (i) the improvement of the continuity of care, associated with facilitating collaborative work among professionals of different levels of care, and, (ii) the increase in patients' self-efficacy, results in an optimization of the management of chronic patients with the consequent decrease in unplanned consultations, whether at primary care or at the hospital. This necessarily leads to an increase in the resolving capacity of primary care teams and an increase in the prevention of hospitalizations.

Although the role of digital technologies, as an element of support for integrated care services, is well-demonstrated, at present, we still do not have adequate digital tools that provide adequate support for collaborative work between professionals and, in turn, encourage the empowerment for self-management of patients. We understand as such, technologies: (i) compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), (ii) interoperable with existing health information systems, and, that (iii) facilitate the adaptive and collaborative management of chronic patients.

The present study evaluates the potential of an industry 4.0 system, Health-Circuit, based on communication technologies and intelligent collaboration, for the improvement of the management of chronic patients, with the consequent increase of the resolving capacity of the community health teams. Health-Circuit allows patients and professionals to interact, bilaterally or in groups, from various information systems and devices, regardless of their physical location. The base technology platform, Circuit, is robust (TRL 9), located in the cloud (private, mixed or public) and complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Circuit allows multimedia corporate communication (chat, call, video-call, file exchange, etc.) between healthcare levels, increasing coordination among professionals with the consequent improvement of health outcomes. Its potential can be increased in the future with the use of intelligent Chatbots to guide patients and professionals through complex care processes, providing decision support for personalised service selection by means of enhanced health risk assessment and patient stratification.

Study Design


Multiple Chronic Conditions


Health-Circuit mobile application


Hospital Clínic


Not yet recruiting


Hospital Clinic of Barcelona

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-08-20T20:17:18-0400

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