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The SMILE project

TCD PI: Dr John Dinsmore

This is a research collaboration between the TCPHI, NetwellCASALA at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) and Caredoc and is funded under the Slaintecare Integration Fund. SMILE is a new, innovative service to enable Irish citizens to proactively self-manage their health and well-being from home supported by a digital platform and nurse-led remote assessment and triage.

Currently there are 150 patients registered for this service which has been trialed in the Carlow-Kilkenny health area. Each participant has two or more conditions including diabetes, COPD, chronic health failure, and heart disease. Participants will use a selection of healthcare devices based on their needs to monitor their health and wellbeing.

SMILE uses the ProAct technology platform, developed by researchers in the TCPHI and NetwellCASALA as part of the Horizon 2020 ProACT project. This platform is used alongside clinical triage provided by nurses in Caredoc to support older people with chronic conditions to self-manage their health and wellbeing at home. Through the ProACT CareApp, patients can review their data, set goals and receive education on their conditions and their management. Caredoc triage nurses monitor all this data from patients using a custom designed triage application that is part of the ProACT platform. This highlights when a patient has an abnormal reading. The nurses have established escalation protocols to deal with alerts where the data is outside the expected threshold levels, for example, advising a patient to visit their GP. The nurses also provide additional support including educating and motivating patients.

Initial research findings indicate that older adults actively engage with digital self-management and the triage service, and experience numerous benefits including improved self-management skills, improved health and wellbeing, more appropriate healthcare utilisation, stabilisation of symptoms over time and greater peace of mind. SMILE is due to end on the 30th June 2021.