Is the C3-Cloud the future of coordinated care?
An ambitious new project led by European researchers and healthcare providers is aiming to change how people with multiple chronic health conditions receive treatment.
Multimorbidity, when patients have two or more long term conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, renal failure and depression, is rising in line with the aging population. Having multiple illnesses also makes each one more difficult to treat.
The C3-Cloud has been developed as a response to this, with the aim of offering joined up care to patients, rather than treating each condition in isolation. It is hoped the digital healthcare system will prevent avoidable readmissions to hospitals and reduce repeated visits to doctors and specialists.
In practice, the digital system will allow each patient to have a personalised treatment plan. The idea is that hospitals, doctors and other health and social care organisations will be able to exchange information to better coordinate care. Patients and members of their care team will also create, edit and review the plan, with an emphasis on the patient making decisions about their care.
A tool that functions like a daily digital assistant helps patients monitor their health, with reminders for appointments and medication, communicating with their healthcare team via chat, video interview or email, and answering questionnaires to track progess.
The personalisation process of C3-Cloud is supported by a Clinical Decision Support module; this has over 500 rules concerning clinical practice guidelines of the most common comorbidities, such as diabetes, heart failure, and depression.
The digital healthcare system also incorporates risk prediction, and patients and their next-of-kin are involved through a 'Patient Empowerment Platform' to make sure their needs are respected in decision making where appropriate.
Researchers also looked at remote management scenarios, such as in the current pandemic; the C3-Cloud is able to support this too.
The four-year project has been developed by 12 partners in seven European countries, led by the University of Warwick in the UK. Pilots are set to run for 15 months in three areas - Warwickshire in the UK, the Basque Country in Spain, and the Jämtland Härjedalen region of Sweden. These areas were chosen to compare their varied health, social care and technology systems. After this it is hoped that the system will be rolled out across Europe.
Professor Theodoros Arvanitis, project coordinator at the University of Warwick, said: “As the world develops and becomes more digital it is essential our healthcare system does too. With an ever growing population and life expectancies increasing it’s important to make a digital healthcare system that works for everyone and that is what the C3-Cloud does.
“Not only does the C3-Cloud work across all systems, it can recommend treatments for patients with multiple health problems, which is helpful when someone is seeing multiple care outlets such as their GP and local hospital for different care needs.
“Our first pilot has taken place, and with the European Innovation Radar identifying C3-Cloud’s key components as tech ready, our next step is to expand this to large scale trials in multiple countries, this could lead to an enrolment in the system, and if there’s ever a pandemic like Covid-19 again different strategies for people with different health problems could be deployed rapidly.”
The C3-Cloud Grand Finale Conference takes place on Friday 28th August, with a range of talks about how digital health tools can address multimorbidity with more personalised care. Register for free here