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Qualitative research on the factors affecting transferability of digital solutions for integrated care


Maite Ferrando ,

Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe
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Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf,

AIAS Bologna onlus, IT
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Asel Kadyrbaeva

European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities
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Introduction: There is a need for stronger collaboration and integration of services between health and social care systems. Digital technology, which is a key driver of innovation in the care sector, presents an opportunity to address this challenge.

Over the last decade several digital platforms have been developed to support the delivery of integrated care in community settings. Nevertheless, few of them have been scaled up or moved beyond the geographical and/or service delivery context in which they have been developed, tested and initially deployed. On the contrary, most of the efforts done so far to provide technology for a more efficient integrated care are ad hoc solutions, what limits the impact and outreach of innovation in the field, being the wheel frequently reinvented. In addition, this transferability gap also prevents the exploitation of potential business opportunities for companies to commercialise and exploit these solutions.    

In order to shed light on the topic a dedicated research is being conducted by AAATE, EASPD and AIAS in the framework of the ProACT project ( funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework. The referred research, so-called Transferability study, is aimed to provide an explanatory model of the factors (positive and negative) which contribute to the transferability of digital platforms supporting integrated care. The Transferability model will provide key knowledge and essential insights for policy makers, service providers, end-user organizations and/or associations of professionals to become active drivers of the successful transfer of digital innovations supporting care, in general, and integrated care in particular.

Method: The methodology of the research is structured in three interconnected phases, which cover desk research based on the analysis on the state of the art and existing goop practices (phase 1), qualitative research with relevant experts working on the field, in particular those with experience on implementing or scaling up digital solutions in integrated care settings (phase 2) and, finally, a final phase validating the conclusions elaborated in previous by involving a wide community of stakeholders (phase 3).

Results: We will present an overview of the results of the second phase of the mentioned transferability study, based on the implementation of semi-structured interviews following a qualitative research design. More than 20 experts from 13 different European countries, including several Easter countries, were invited to participate, due to their knowledge on the implementation of health and social care digital solutions and/or their experience in transferring integrated care technologies and practices from one context or country to other.

Conclusions and discussion: Among the conclusions of the interview analysis, there are relevant insights about the relevant factors involved, which vary from organisational and structural barriers to instrumental, attitudinal or cultural facilitators influencing the transferability potential of the digital solutions. The experts also refer to the need of standardisation in integrated care as a driver for transferability.

Limitations and future research: The results are a first attempt to provide a deeper understanding of particular barriers and facilitators for transfer digital solutions and additional research will be required.

How to Cite: Ferrando M, Hoogerwerf E-J, Kadyrbaeva A. Qualitative research on the factors affecting transferability of digital solutions for integrated care. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2019;19(4):236. DOI:
Published on 08 Aug 2019.


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