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In the city of Oulu remote care is perceived as more pleasant than the traditional form of home care

 

Remote care complements home care visits of the city of Oulu and enables wider and more diverse services. The city’s remote home care has been ongoing since June 2019 via a secure video connection. The remote home care clientele receive a tablet to their home, and the connection starts when the caregiver calls.

 

The aim of home care of the city of Oulu was to find a solution for everyday life that would replace some of the physical home care visits. After introducing the VideoVisit® Home Virtual Care Service, physical home care visits have been able to target those clients who need services and the caregiver’s help at home. Remote caregivers became responsible for visits that do not require physical contact.

 

Sirpa Saarela, the city’s coordinator for the development of welfare services, states that examples of implementing remote home care are found in other cities. The Virtual Home Care service produced by VideoVisit Oy, or more familiarly called the video phone call service, is currently being utilized in Soite, Kuusamo, Tampere, Turku, Eksote and PHHYKY. According to Jarkko Kukkonen, the account manager of VideoVisit, remote home care visits have been on the rise for several years. However, in the spring of 2020, the number of users increased significantly due to the situation caused by the coronavirus. “All signs indicate that remote services are here to stay, including remote home care provided by the municipality”, Jarkko summarizes.

 

Remote home care is well suited for monitoring the client’s daily activities. Caregivers remind clients, for example, to take medication and eat. In addition, blood glucose measurements and insulin injections are monitored through video connection. During the remote visit, there also is some time for catching up on daily events.

 

“The client does all the daily chores at home, and the caregiver guides them. This type of home care maintains their ability to function better because the caregiver does not do things for the client”, states Sirpa Saarela when describing the rehabilitative feature of remote home care.

 

Monthly goal of 3000 virtual visits about to be exceeded

 

The remote home care of the city of Oulu is exceeding its monthly goals. The targets were already achieved at the end of 2019. Last December, as many as 1700 remote home care visits were made in Oulu. Sirpa Saarela says that this year’s goal is to make 3000 remote home care visits each month. “Now we have almost reached this goal although there is still some time left in May”, Saarela continues.

 

Positive client feedback

 

According to Sirpa Saarela, remote home care has started off very well, and according to the feedback received from the clients, remote care is perceived as even more pleasant than the traditional home care. “The caregiver visits the client via video connection and reminds them about things that are important in their daily lives. Clients feel that this circumstance is more comfortable than a situation when a stranger physically arrives at their home”, she clarifies.

 

 

Remote home care visits are made with VideoVisit® Home service in Oulu. Picture Home care of the city of Oulu

 

Anne Terho, who works as a nurse, also agrees. She feels that VideoVisit® Home service calms the client’s life at home. “It means that there are not people coming and going all the time, and sometimes out of four visits, three visitors are different caregivers”, she continues. Anne delivers the devices to the clients and instructs them how to use the tablet. On the first visit, a test call is made in order to ensure that the connection works. According to Anne, the first reaction has mostly been positive, and it has been nice to deliver devices to clients. “They are happy that they do not need to know how to use the device. The most important thing is that the connection is activated by the caregiver”, states Anne. She is delighted to notice that even those clients who had their doubts in the beginning have started to enjoy video calls with their caregivers.

 

Currently, remote home care of the city of Oulu has about 130 to 140 clients. All of the city’s remote home care client visits are made centrally from the same location: Home Living Support Centre (Kotona asumisen tuen keskus, Kotas). Sirpa Saarela says that new home care clients are generally referred to a 2 to 8 week rehabilitation period before they become actual clients of home care. During the rehabilitation period, it is identified which clients need physical visits and which are suitable for remote home care. Sometimes physical visits turn into remote visits after the rehabilitation period. You can also become a remote home care client without the rehabilitation period depending on your needs for the service.

 

Benefits of VideoVisit® Home Virtual Care Service

 

With VideoVisit® Home Virtual Care Service it is possible to serve a wider client base centrally as distance no longer matters. “When the connection ends the caregiver can immediately call the next client regardless of where in the city of Oulu the client lives”, says Saarela. The client fee for remote home care is half the price than what it is for traditional home care.

 

Also the elderly people’s relatives are able to connect with their loved ones via VideoVisit® Family feature. Picture Katariina Ojala/Video Visit Oy

 

The VideoVisit® Home Virtual Care Service is safe and easy to use by both clients and their relatives. The VideoVisit® Home service includes a feature through which the elderly people’s relatives can stay connected with their loved ones. Sirpa encourages the relatives of remote home care clients to use the feature.

 

Certainly, it is a completely different thing when you can see your loved one on a video than just hearing their voice on the phone and trying to ensure their well-being

 

Sirpa Saarela

 

Last year, VideoVisit Oy organized a series of Road-show events in which panel discussions were participated by various important decision-makers from the healthcare and social welfare (SOTE) field, doctors and innovators. The discussions focused on, for example, the potential of digital solutions. According to Jarkko Kukkonen, getting older today no longer means that when it becomes difficult to move, you have to stay at home alone. “The idea that VideoVisit ® Home type of remote care solutions make it possible to be socially active, participate in various events, talk to new people, and meet and make new friends at an older age is heart-warming”, states Kukkonen.

 

More information

Juhana Ojala

CEO, VideoVisit Oy

juhana.ojala@videovisitglobal.com

 

 

 

Joel Holmén VideoVisit Oy Medical Advisor

Joel Holmén VideoVisit Oy Medical Advisor

Joel Holmén started as the Medical Advisor of VideoVisit Oy on 1 st of April 2020. He is a doctor who specializes in psychiatry and also a doctoral researcher who has worked several years with geriatric psychiatry at the Turku University Hospital. Joel has acquired an extensive expertise in geriatric mental health care as well as using technology to support treatment.

 

The doctor from Turku is familiar with online appointments. Joel Holmén has taken part in developing an online appointment service for the Geriatric Psychiatry Unit of Tyks in which VideoVisit® HOME Virtual Care Service was introduced in early 2019. In Southwest Finland, elderly people often live in remote areas and have difficulty accessing, for example, municipal health care services. Remote home care is a way to speed up the hospital discharge process and provide more effective services to a patient’s home. In particular, online appointments have been used by the Intensive Geriatric Outpatient Care at Tyks. According to Joel’s experience, remote home care is well suited for the elderly. It is important that the solution is simple enough and enough time is spent teaching how to use the device.

 

It is easy to learn how to use the device because the patient does not need to know much. We wanted a window to the elderly people’s homes through which we could talk with them. That is why VideoVisit® was introduced at Tyks.

JOEL HOLMÉN

Medical Advisor, VideoVisit Oy

 

An interest towards health technology has taken Joel Holmén forward in his life. He has been founding and developing a company that implemented virtual reality technology to help doctors in operating rooms. In addition, Joel is involved in a start-up company that designs smart robot rollators for the elderly. Currently Joel is interested in utilizing remote technology and finding new solutions for geriatric psychiatry treatment.

 

Joel Holmén Medical advisor VideoVisit Oy

Joel Holmén thinks that the quality of life of the elderly could be improved by providing low-threshold services and improving access to and the speed of care. Photo Katariina Ojala/VideoVisit Oy

 

Mental health problems of the elderly are often overlooked. Good mental health is a prerequisite for human well-being. Joel Holmén says that in Finland society is not prepared for mental health challenges of the elderly, such as the treatment of depression. Access to mental health care in primary health care has decreased and resources have been reduced. Too many elderly people are left without the care they need. For example, Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland) does not provide reimbursement for rehabilitative psychotherapy treatment of elderly people over the age of 67 years as mental health services are targeted at young people and people of working age. “It has been studied that psychotherapy is beneficial for the elderly. Depression is often driven by the feeling of loneliness,” says Holmén.

 

According to Joel, untreated mental health problems of the elderly are reflected in home care and other services used by the elderly. It manifests itself in greater number of more severely symptomatic patients. The quality of life of the elderly could be improved by providing low-threshold services and improving access to and the speed of care.

 

VideoVisit® Home Live Service is easy to use

According to Joel’s experience, remote home care is well suited for the elderly. It is important that the solution is simple enough and enough time is spent teaching how to use the device. Photo Katariina Ojala/VideoVisit Oy

 

Specializing in geriatric psychiatry, Doctor Holmén is concerned about the mental health of the elderly. The elderly population has been the most severely affected by the isolation guidelines due to the epidemic. The elderly people have been prohibited from relatives visiting and therefore their human contact has drastically reduced. The lives of both those living at home and those living in service homes have become more lonely. Many miss connecting with family and friends.

 

The state of emergency causes worry, sadness, fear, insecurity and anxiety. Isolation, impaired communication with both caregivers and loved ones, and the lack of presence affect mental well-being.

JOEL HOLMÉN

Medical Advisor, VideoVisit Oy

 

Concern about people’s mental resilience has become an increasingly topical issue. The Finnish government launched the Finland Forward (Suomi toimii) campaign in April this year. One of its main purposes is to support the mental health of its citizens. Underlying is the concern about the mental resilience and survival of Finns during and after the crisis.

 

Juhana Ojala, the CEO of VideoVisit Oy, sees Joel Holmén’s joining the VideoVisit Advisor Board as very positive news in terms of developing new services.

 

Juhana Ojala, CEO VideoVisit Oy

According to Juhana Joel Holmén is one of Finland’s leading experts in the digitization of geriatric psychiatry, hence joining our Advisor Board is great and a significant step for our organization. Photo Katariina Ojala/VideoVisit Oy

 

 

Mental health problems of the elderly is often an area that receives far too little attention. The effects of the COVID-19 epidemic will be reflected globally, especially in the growing demand for elderly mental health services. Joel’s joining our team strengthens VideoVisit’s ability to meet this challenge by developing new remote home care services and service models specifically targeted at mental health services for the elderly. Joel is one of Finland’s leading experts in the digitization of geriatric psychiatry, hence joining our Advisor Board is great and a significant step for our organization.

JUHANA OJALA

CEO, VideoVisit Oy

 

Yellow wooden house and an apple orchard

 

Photo Katariina Ojala/VideoVisit Oy

Ten apple trees in the yard keep Joel and his wife busy. Photo Katariina Ojala/VideoVisit Oy

 

The doctor’s free time is spent on yard and garden work. The yellow house and the magnificent ten apple trees in the yard keep Joel and his wife busy. In addition to yard work, Joel is pursuing a master’s degree in artificial intelligence at the Department of Future Technologies at the University of Turku. The video interview was conveyed by a warm-hearted and positive doctor who enthusiastically spoke about the future outlook.

 

 

More information

 

Joel Holmén

Medical Advisor, VideoVisit Oy

joel.holmen@videovisit.fi

Juhana Ojala

CEO, VideoVisit Oy

juhana.ojala@videovisitglobal.com