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Digital cooperation in the Mobile X-Ray project

Sunday, November 29, 2020

How can digitalisation be used to make care processes more efficient as part of the move to close care? In response to this question, PICTA and its partners are launching a project that is being funded by the Innovation Platform of Region Västra Götaland.

- Against the background of the challenges and excitement caused by digitalisation, it is important to investigate specific opportunities in the field of care, said Glenn Larsson, project leader at PICTA. 

The project aims to set up a mobile unit staffed by a radiographer and equipped with the necessary technology and its own mobile network, which will allow X-rays to be transferred in digital form directly from the care home to a doctor at the hospital. As a result, it will be possible to make faster diagnoses and decisions about ongoing treatment remotely. Patients who do not need inpatient care can be offered appropriate treatment via the primary care and community health and social care services. 

The initiative will have a very specific task: To ensure that patients can continue to be cared for in their home and avoid unnecessary hospital stays. 

Avoiding ambulance journeys is important

Suspected fractures can be X-rayed in the patient's home environment, rather than taking the conventional approach of transporting the patient to hospital by ambulance for diagnosis and decisions on treatment. 

Patients travelling by ambulance have to be accompanied by a relative or a member of staff from the care home, because many of the patients have a cognitive impairment or are suffering from dementia. 

X-rays for monitoring purposes in care homes

The project will investigate the possibilities of carrying out X-rays to monitor hip prostheses in care homes instead of in hospitals, which is currently the normal method.

For patients with a fracture, such as a hip fracture, that has been verified by an X-ray, preparations can be made in the care home for the patient's hospital stay and operation as part of a coherent care process involving the relevant care givers. 

- X-raying patients before they go to hospital is not by any means new. This is already being done in a number of areas in Sweden and in other countries with positive results. The new feature of this project is the digital cooperation between the different care providers and the decision-making processes which guarantee continuous, high-quality close care, said Glenn Larsson.

The project's aim is to establish a cooperation between first-line care organisations (ambulance service, primary care, community health and social care services) that will provide close care (pain relief, triaging), carry out analyses, including taking samples, with a digital transfer to a specialist health care department and offer a decision-support system for safe close care and follow-up.

About the project

  • Project name: Person-Centred Mobile X-Ray
  • Period: January to December 2021
  • Grant funding: SEK 1 million
  • Project partners: Departments at Sahlgrenska University Hospital (orthopaedics, radiography, ambulance service and anaesthesia), primary care, community health and social care, the IT department of Region Västra Götaland, PICTA, the University of Borås