Telecom Italia, the Policlinico Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital and the Irnerio Middle School in Bologna, with the scientific supervisory of CNR ISOF Bologna, have launched the “Smart Inclusion” project for children hospitalized in the Bologna hospital’s Onco-haematology and Cardiology and Cardio-surgery Wards. The project is the first in Italy to combine distance learning, entertainment and clinical data management on a single technological platform, which was wholly developed by Telecom Italia. The system allows long-term young patients, including those originally from other parts of Italy, to take part in social life and connect with the outside world in a straightforward and immediate manner, while at the same time allowing doctors access to advanced patient treatment process support tools.
The innovative bedside “Smart Care” touch screen terminal, equipped with a video camera, allows long-term child patients at the Bologna hospital to attend school lessons, stay in touch with their nearest and dearest, and access a range of entertainment services.
Simply by applying finger pressure, young patients can switch between two dedicated themed areas, School and Entertainment. In the School section, they can remotely connect to their classroom, see the teacher and their fellow students, and take an active and direct part in lessons. This level of interaction is possible thanks to advanced IT systems installed in the classroom and connected to the child’s bedside terminal – including an electronic interactive whiteboard that helps the comprehension of the lessons by both the patient and his schoolmates as well as e-learning tools that offer children a chance to catch up on lessons they have missed, complete exercises, and follow individual self-learning courses. In the Entertainment section, young patients can access themed TV channels and choose what to watch from a selection of cartoons, films, documentaries, and sport content. They can also video call members of their family at home via webcam-equipped PC. and after they return home from hospital, children can continue using the terminal to follow their lessons from home.
The terminal also incorporates a Hospital section, which authorized health-care personnel can access to consult the patient’s clinical documentation, and update as necessary. An advanced interactive video system built into the terminal makes it possible to monitor the child’s condition directly from the ward supervisor’s terminal.
The Smart Inclusion project uses the latest zero-impact electromagnetic transmission technology, and installation requires no building or cabling works.
The new project, which joins the traditional learning programmes already underway in Policlinico Sant’Orsola-Malpighi pediatric wards, facilitates the social and cultural integration of long-term patients with school and home.
With this initiative, Telecom Italia confirms its commitment to developing innovative ICT services nationwide for teaching and healthcare that bring advantages to the whole community.
Bologna, February 6, 2009