The purpose of the project’s first intellectual output is to answer crucial questions about the use of ICT in care homes in Turkey and the EU, addressing the project’s objectives to shed light on the topic. The main goal is to map scientific literature reflecting the state-of-the-art knowledge on telemonitoring and ICT in care, since there is very limited knowledge about how ICT is used in care homes. Indeed, statistics shows that most of the care homes do not even make use of basic technology.
As statistics shows, most of the care homes in Turkey and the European Union, both public and private, do not make use of basic ICT technology. Rather they still prefer paper-based, outdated and ineffective methods to work in an old-fashioned matter (WHO: 2018, Family and Social Affairs Ministry of Turkey Report).
Scientific literature review
To answer crucial questions and address the project’s objectives on the use of ICT in care homes, with focus on telemonitoring for older adults, SYNYO carried out a systematic review of the scientific literature. The project identified assessment studies of telemedicine that reported patient outcomes, administrative changes or economic assessments and evaluated the quality of that literature.
A systematic electronic search for articles published between 2015 and early 2020 was carried out, using the databases Scopus, SAGE, Web of Science, and Pub Med. A total of 98 scientific articles were identified using the search terms “telemonitoring”, “care”, “ICT” and “care home” respectively and in combination. Further articles were identified by consulting reference lists of published review articles.
It was concluded that telemedicine holds great potential especially in the care sector; many studies have shown that a positive resonance was achieved through the use of telemonitoring and similar equipment. For example, rehabilitation exercises were carried out more often, medication was taken more often, vital data was checked faster.
However, apart from its advantages, there are also barriers to the implementation of ICT in care homes, as well as possible disadvantages of the technological aspect, which are repeatedly mentioned in literature. Depending on the specific area they concern, the use of ICT in care can pose different problems – however, four key areas were be identified by Barnett & Livingston (2019):
- Data protection and privacy (see also Sundgren, Stolt & Suhonen 2019);
- Consumer acceptance;
- Usability (and user-friendliness, see also Jonker et al. 2020);
- Lack of policy and planning regarding the adoption.
In terms of outcomes, while many studies measured positive clinical outcomes (better health, more reliable self-monitoring or faster reaction to changes), most of them concluded that further studies are needed to underline the effects. However, in five medical fields with chronic diseases (management of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, and stroke), positive effects for ICT in the care sector were definitely identified (Wildevuur & Simonse 2015). In general, it was found that conditions which require constant monitoring are more suitable for ICT than others, since it supported the wellbeing of patients.
This output brings various elements of innovation where it will help to understand how the use of ICT works in the world, EU and Turkey, what are the benefits, materials, methods, strengths, socio-cultural components, concerns, effect-proven interventions, financial matters and many more. Further, it will help adult educators and professionals in adult education to understand their responsibilities regarding how they can benefit from interventions. This output will also lead the projects teams to define what works best, how various professionals work together to solve critical issues in care homes, their materials, professional implementations and many more.
In this regard, this literature review will be implemented in a comprehensive guide on different care-related topics which can then be used by any institution in adult education and care homes sector in digital formats. The project will publish this output’s results so that a significant number of institutions and people will easily have access to these them. It will display general ICT-enabled care services including digital health (convergence of digital revolutions in care), electronic health (transfer of health resources and care by electronic means), technology enabled care (TEC) services (the use of telehealth, telecare, telemedicine, tele coaching) and wearable devices (sensor applied to the body which converts physiological signals, e.g. heart rate, movement, other physical signals).
The expected impacts are to develop professional skills of adult educators regarding the care homes sector on the one hand, and older people on the other hand. Further impacts are are to understand how methodological ICT implementations work in the partner countries (Italy, Turkey, Spain, Austria), and to provide knowledge about how ICT methodology and elderly care pedagogy can be combined in best formats. Finally, the project will contribute knowledge how older people can benefit from methodological ICT implementations and increase the overall skills of adult educators and educational institutions in this respect. Also, care home managers will learn how different methodologies bring various results in care home management sector, including financial, social, cultural and psychological factors.
ICT, care, care home, ageing, older adults, telemonitoring, scientific literature review