Danish-American collaboration for better remote-care for patients

New collaboration between health science researchers from Aalborg University and a world-famous American university and heart centre is to improve remote-care of patients by use of technology.


The establishment of a transatlantic research network within the socalled "telehealth" is funded by the Danish Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation who have also played a role in bringing the partners together through a Danish innovation campaign in the US.


Assistant professor Birthe Dinesen of The Faculty of Medicine is heading Aalborg University's engagement in the new joint effort. She expects the collaboration to lead to novel possibilities in a field within which she and her colleagues in Aalborg have already played a pioneering role. For instance in projects where technology allows for qualified surveillance of the conditions of heart patients even though they are at home.


- At Aalborg University, we have a unique mix of ingeneering competences and health science that makes us an attractive collaborator for the Americans. In return, they have the opportunity to perform telemedicine pilot projects at a much larger scale than we can do here in Denmark. Our pilot projects may include maybe five patients, whereas they can work with 400 patients. So the agreement gives us the chance to upscale our projects and gather data much faster, Birthe Dinesen explains.

Effective health caravan


American participants are the Davis Center for Health and Technology at the University of California Berkeleyand the private heart clinic Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The foundations of the collaboration were established in the fall of 2010, when Danish competences within health technology were promoted in California by a special health caravan co-arranged by the Danish Innovation Center in Silicon Valley. Birthe Dinesen was part of the caravan, and the meetings and subsequent deliberations with the Americans have convinced her that there is potential for collaboration on several levels:

- Berkeley is among the leading universities in the world, and the Cleveland Clinic rates as the leading American heart centre. Now, we will first of all get the chance to meet for a week in each place and share experiences and plans. We are also going to exchange master's students and PhD students as well as setting up joint research projects and establish networks between companies in the two locations, Birthe Dinesen says.



At the same time, she expects the network to be a source of inspiration at a higher level in terms of ideas and innovation.


- I see it as a chance to strengthen our ideas, and I am banking on a spillover effect on our future research and clinical experiments. The trip with the health caravan showed me that they are more open to innovation and to sharing knowledge than we are. In Silicon Valley, they have a saying that it is better to share knowledge and get a slice of a bigger pie than to save your knowledge to yourself. I hope we will be able to learn from that, Birthe Dinesen finishes.

Further information:

For more information on the Medical Informatics Research Group at Aalborg University:
Associate Professor Birthe Dinesen, The Department of Health Science and Technology, mobile +45 2051 5944.


Source: AAU nwes

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