CCTR's mission is to develop innovative end-to-end solutions that will enable extramural diagnosis, monitoring, coaching and treatment, to provide scientifically sound knowledge on how this technology can be safely and effectively used in new concepts of care and care relate prevention,  and as a  whole implemented  in daily life and  care practice, and  to  make  a significant  contribution  to  economic  activity  in  this field.

eLabEL: Living Labs as a ground for innovation and research in eHealth

It is the year 2020: Loes is a nurse practitioner in a large General practitioner’s office. She starts working on Monday morning, logs in on her computer and when she checks the agenda, sees that quite some people have already made an appointment. Online. Then she checks for patients that need urgent care. In the practice they guide quite some chronically ill patients. On the web portal of her practice, she sees that Mister H, who has a chronic lung condition, suffers more from his COPD. That’s too bad, it went so well lately. But thank goodness they catch the negative trend quickly. The system has already planned in a video appointment between Mister H. and the doctor for this afternoon.

elabel-logoIn the eLabEL project, so-called ‘Living Labs’ are used to implement eHealth technology within primary care on a long-lasting manner. This project is a project of the CCTR (Centre for Care Technology Research) and was launched on September 1.

eHealth as an integral part of care
Is the situation we sketched above the future? Research points out that we are quite far with the development of eHealth applications. However, someway we can’t seem to make eHealth an integral part of primary care. Mobdro for iPhone There are several causes here. Despite the high expectations, there is little known about the effects of using this technology on the quality of patients’ lives, and on the quality of care. Furthermore, both caregivers and patients are unfamiliar with the possibilities eHealth provides. In the eLabEL project, ten large primary care offices will start working with already existing eHealth applications. These offices act as ‘Living Lab’ in which eHealth applications can be developed by means of co-creation with caregivers, patients and companies that create eHealth. The researchers in the eLabEL project will evaluate the way in which the technology has been implemented and is used by patients.

Research questions
The eLabEL project seeks to find answers to the following questions:

  • What are the consequences of implementation of eHealth technology for the patient, the care provider and the organization, within a primary care context?
  • How can different eHealth technologies be integrated so as to create a coherent, one-stop-shop for both the care provider, as well as the patient.
  • What are effective implementation strategies for eHealth applications within primary care?

The Centre for Care Technology Research (CCTR) is a collaboration of the University of Twente, Maastricht University, TNO and NIVEL. It is recognized as one of the eight Dutch Centres of Research Excellence by the Dutch foundation for Scientific Research. eLabEL is subsidized by ZonMw, by means of the IMDI-program (Innovative Medical Devices Initiative). By now, twelve companies have committed themselves to taking part in eLabEL and the first participating primary care centers are also aboard.