In October 2020, thanks to the project of the Association of Palliative and Hospice Care, a telehospice is being introduced in Odessa. This is an innovative service, which consists in patients receiving medical, psychosocial and other consultations at home, thanks to telecommunication equipment (laptops, tablets).
Now, social services are only partially involved in the project. In the future, palliative care at home should be provided in close interdisciplinary cooperation between social and medical services and non-governmental organizations, in particular the Red Cross Society. Medical reports should contain more complete information about the health status of the person as having an incurable disease and a limited life prognosis. Lists of wards should be developed together with medical institutions. There should be a system of training (preparation) of specialists and volunteers.
An example is Poland, where palliative care has been developing for about 50 years. And, due to the spread of the pandemic, the need for online services is very actual. The entire telecommunication system provides the availability of an online assistant (a virtual assistant with the ability to connect a "live" person to a chat dedicated to answering patients' questions). You can contact your assistant with any care questions from any phone. Answers are available from doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, priests and other professionals. Now it is planned to introduce artificial intelligence into this system, and even more personalize the answers. At home, the patient has motion sensors, webcams, SOS buttons, GPS terminals, microphones, speakers, sensors for counting steps, sleep biorhythms, video recording of medication through a catheter, etc. The patient himself wears something like a fitness bracelet. The “smart” system, observing the patient, studies his / her habits and reacts to their change or deviation from them. This happens by accumulating data at certain time intervals. In case of deviations, the system itself informs the hospice team. There are many companies and organizations that offer a variety of equipment (the whole scheme can cost up to 500,000 UAH and this amount includes equipment - terminals, monitors, Wi-Fi, bluetooth stations… and its installation. These companies provide training for specialists as well.
By the way, the use of artificial intelligence in palliative medicine is considered in more detail in the article by leading experts on this issue A. Tsarenko, O. Wolf and others ("Socio-medical aspects of the economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic on palliative and hospice assistance in the world and in Ukraine").
Thus, the prospects for the development of telehospice in Odessa may be the purchase of software and hardware for telemetry and telemedicine consulting, application development and installation, setting up a voice assistant, processing and downloading available manuals and video instructions for home care.
Aleksandr Wolf, Shupyk NMAPE Department of palliative and hospice medicine, charitable organization Association of palliative and hospice care