User Empowerment in Telehealth Practice: The TeleSCoPE Project Approach

Open Access
Article
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Sarah A Tabozzi aMalcolm J Fisk bFrederic Lievens c

Abstract: Over the last two decades the use of telecommunication technology has grown popular in clinical practice and healthcare management all over the world. Its spreading, originally aimed at reaching remote areas, has been promoted by the anticipation of a major demand of telehealth services, wedded to the reduction of the availability of economical resources. At present, telecommunication technology offers solutions ready to cover the most diverse health-related issues, and the needs of society as a whole. Simultaneously to the development of the tele-support to traditional care, various debates regarding new possibilities offered by at-a-distance provision of healthcare have cropped up. Jointly rose from the ranks the need for alignment, both within and between the European nations, of the standards for the rising services, in order to facilitate their further use and to create trust around these new born means. The European project TeleSCoPE – Telehealth Service Code of Practice for Europe - is positioned in this framework. The European Code of Practice for telehealth services, the main output of the project, addresses tutelary issues evaluated and agreed among telehealth agents, in a user-centered view. Researching the different aspects related to user safety and satisfaction, rose the issue concerning the role of the users towards their health. The empowerment of the user is such a central matter that it led the partner group to the creation of an unambiguous glossary, where the top-down term “telemedicine” is replaced by “telehealth”, highlighting the excess of the merely clinical approach, in favor of an interaction between service provider and user/carer aimed at health in its wider and more comprehensive meaning, then covering social, psychological and physiological aspects, as well as well-being.This paper discusses the core of the TeleSCoPE Code of practice, regarding user empowerment, and provides a small review about the acceptance, the appreciation and the efficacy of personal involvement of users/patients in the provision of healthcare, according to the available literature

Keywords: User Empowerment, Telehealth, User Centred Approach, TeleSCoPE

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe100513

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