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SmartCare evaluated pilots

Interventions in the area of integrated eCare are in most cases complex interventions building upon a number of components that may act independently or interdependently and involving and affecting a range of different stakeholders (Dyrvig 2014).

The evaluation in SmartCare examines the benefits and shortcomings for all parties across the care pathway continuum, with the care recipient and carer perspectives and experiences being central:

  • end users (care recipients)
  • voluntary and non-voluntary informal carers
  • formal health and social care staff / professionals
  • managers and fund-holders.

The evaluation design in SmartCare is a quasi-experimental design with a combination of quantitative and qualitative data collections. All deployment sites have one group of end-users who receive usual care, and one group that receives the SmartCare services.

The set-up of all SmartCare deployment sites is cohort studies, i.e. a group of people with similar characteristics are followed over a period of time. The groups are split into halves, so half of the population receives the intervention, and the other half receives usual care. The two groups run in parallel. The rules of division into groups are allowed to differ between deployment sites; so in some pilots there is randomisation, whereas in others, geographical aspects decide the groups. Sufficient calculations on possible confounding from geographical division are being carried out. In addition, the overall meta-analysis with subgroups based on sampling will provide knowledge on the measured differences in effect sizes that can be explained by study design.

Any impact that ICT supported integrated health and social care might have on all users will be the subject of analyses according to the framework presented in the MAST model (Kidholm et al. 2012). MAST was adapted for SmartCare to cover aspects of social and healthcare integration and includes the following domains:

  • Health problem and characteristics of application
  • Safety
  • Clinical effectiveness
  • Patient perspectives
  • Economic aspects
  • Organisational aspects
  • Socio-cultural, ethical and legal aspects.

Cost benefit analysis and business modelling underpin the evaluation with the outcomes and outputs providing the regions with the necessary evidence- base for them to consider mainstreaming the delivery of integrated care services for other population cohorts in their region and elsewhere.

Find out more about the SmartCare Evaluation Framework.

 First intrerim results are described in D8.2 "First interim process evaluation report".

 


Dyrvig, A.-K. (2014). Evaluating Integrated eCare: Discussions and Guidance of a Diverse Field. In: I. Meyer, S. Müller and L. Kubitschke. Achieving Effective Integrated E-Care Beyond the Silos. Hershey, PA, IGI Global.

Kidholm K., Ekeland A.G., Jensen L.K., Rasmussen J., Pedersen C.D., Bowes A., Flottorp S.A., Bech M. A model for assessment of telemedicine applications: MAST. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2012 Jan;28(1):44-51. doi: 10.1017/S0266462311000638.