TALLINN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

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E-Medicine Centre

E-Medicine Centre (eMedLab) with Digital Health MSc programme is the largest e-health research and education centre in Estonia. The research centre is focused on developing IT solutions related to the digitalisation of health care (e-health) and studying the interoperability factors necessary for its implementation. These factors include strategies, standards, IT architecture, data statuses and databases used for large (national or regional) e-health systems. The team at the e-Medicine Centre includes several top specialists and researchers with leading e-health and e-government expertise. The research centre is responsible for the Digital Health master’s and PhD programmes at the university, and for numerous innovation projects and training programmes with partner organizations in Estonia and abroad. The e-Medicine Centre's personnel played a central role in the design and implementation of Estonia's nation-wide Health Information Exchange platform that opened up new dimensions in the research of shared databases and modern digital workflows in health care environments.

Estonia's largest e-health research centre

Focus areas

  • Research in the areas of clinical decision support, evaluation of digital health technologies, online health data related behaviour, components and determinants of digitalisation of health care.
  • Presentations and participation in various international research and development projects.
  • Coordination of Digital Health MSc programme and the PhD studies. Teaching digital literacy skills in healthcare.
  • Implementing projects and custom orders, compiling project applications and tenders.

Building sustainable health care systems by using smart technologies and digitalisation

Workshops

The e-Medicine Centre offers a wide variety of different workshops led by e-health experts. The goal of these workshops is to share the knowledge and experience of building the Estonian e-health infrastructure. The workshops differ in terms of content, target group and duration – ranging from 3 hours to 2 years. Most workshops offered in both Estonian and English.

Duration: 3 hours

Target group: international delegations, potential partners, Mektory visitors

Language: Estonian or English

The workshop allows the participants to get acquainted with the Estonian healthcare system, its e-health structure and latest reforms, developments and experiences in the area. The workshop introduces some of the biggest lessons and projects behind the creation of the national e-health system in Estonia, and gives an overview of the Health Care Technology master’s programme offered by the university.

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Lector: Prof. Dr. Peeter Ross

Duration: 8 hours

Target group: healthcare workers, local municipalities, students interested in the healthcare field

Language: Estonian or English

Changes in our health literacy and behaviour are driving our expectations towards healthcare services, their availability and user-friendliness. This goes for both patients and doctors. E-health services must be easy to use and effective at the same time. People using these services are at the centre of the e-health ecosystem. New tools based on IT and digital technologies provide support and methodology for improving the availability of healthcare services. In a working ecosystem, the end-users must be seen as partners not clients, as it is important to collaborate between various stakeholders – doctors, patients, IT experts – in order to reach the best possible solution. The workshop is aimed at introducing some of these necessary components behind the Estonian e-health ecosystem and infrastructure, including telemedicine, self-learning decision support tools, patient privacy and other aspects of e-health services. 

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Lector: Dr. Madis Tiik

Duration: 8 hours

Target group: healthcare workers, local municipalities, students interested in the healthcare field

Languages: Estonian or English

What is the future of healthcare in the world and in Estonia? Will the current healthcare models and systems retain or will they give way to new ones? Perhaps the old and new models are able to function simultaneously. What are the new challenges in healthcare? The successful deployment of digital health and telemedicine tools is dependent on the preparedness of doctors and patients to use novel systems and their attitudes towards the potential benefits of it. The workshop discusses the basics of telemedicine, explores the trends and new treatment models in healthcare. We will discuss, what characterises novel health centres and technologies, describe the progress from healthcare digitalisation to personalisation and patient empowerment.

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Lectors: Prof. Dr. Peeter Ross, Dr. Madis Tiik, Janek Metsallik, Priit Kruus

Duration: 24 hours (3 days)

Target group: healthcare workers, students interested in the healthcare field

Languages: Estonian or English

Digital health and telemedicine - a new reality in healthcare? The key players in the digital health ecosystem are the people who use the services. Information systems and digital tools have more of a supportive function and act as channels to improve access to the services. Doctors and patients, together with health information systems and digital services form the digital health ecosystem. To effectively operate in this environment, it is necessary to understand the digital health ecosystem and the principles of the functioning and structure of health information systems, the terminology of medicine and digital health – concepts that will all be introduced during this workshop.

Additionally, the workshop discusses the basics of telemedicine, explores the trends and new treatment models in healthcare. We will examine, what characterises novel health centres and technologies, describe the progress from healthcare digitalisation to personalisation and patient empowerment.

The workshop also explains who, what and how much should be paid in health care? It gives an overview of the financing mechanisms of various healthcare systems, services and interventions, focusing on different levels like the society, insurance provider, service provider and the individual. Additionally, it will focus on the evaluation methods used to assess healthcare technologies, programs and information systems with the purpose of making investment decisions and economic evaluations.

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Lectors: Prof. Dr. Peeter Ross, Indrek Saul

Duration: 4 days

Target group: healthcare workers and digital health application developers (business managers, quality assurance managers, IT-development managers, analysts, business process managers,  IT specialists)

Languages: Estonian or English

Various information systems and digital services are becoming increasingly important in healthcare. Nevertheless, are healthcare professionals knowledgeable enough to request the developers for an information system that helps the healthcare institution to treat patients and provide services in the best possible way? The workshop provides an overview of change management, how to compose the terms of reference and map the development process of a software. The workshop should result in an improvement of the customer´s ability to compile the terms of reference and deploy new software in a way that the expectations for the trusted benefits, opportunities and user experience are fulfilled better than before. The training explains how to recognize, prevent and overcome possible resistance towards the introduction of new systems, and thereby achieve greater benefits and use of the system.

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Lectors: Prof. Dr. Peeter Ross, Dr. Madis Tiik, Priit Kruus, Janek Metsallik

Duration: 4 months

Target group: Higher education institutions, healthcare workers, students interested in the healthcare field

Languages: Estonian and English

Modern healthcare is based on the principles of e-health and telemedicine. Is that actually so? What do these concepts mean and is the society ready to use new models? Doctors and patients, together with health information systems and digital services form the digital health ecosystem. To effectively operate in this environment, it is necessary to understand the digital health ecosystem and the principles of the functioning and structure of health information systems, the terminology of medicine and digital health – concepts that will all be introduced during this workshop.

The workshop will also discuss how the use of telemedicine and e-health can improve health care processes. We will give an overview of the basics of telemedicine, explore the trends and new treatment models in health care. Additionally, the workshop will examine, what characterises novel health centres and technologies, describe the progress from healthcare digitalisation to personalisation and patient empowerment.

We will also focus on explaining who, what and how much should be paid in healthcare? The workshop will give an overview of the financing mechanisms of various healthcare systems, services and interventions, focusing on different levels like the society, insurance provider, service provider and the individual. Additionally, it will explore the evaluation methods used to assess healthcare technologies, programs and information systems with the purpose of making investment decisions and economic evaluations.

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Lectors: Prof. Dr. Peeter Ross, Tanel Ross, Janek Metsallik etc.

Duration: 5 days

Target group: international delegations

Language: English

The aim of the study tour is to introduce the structure of the Estonian healthcare system, recent reforms, the most successful projects and lessons learned. The study tour includes expert lectures, meals, field trips, city tours and open discussion classes.

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Research

The e-Medicine Centre strives to be a knowledge partner for the government, the industry and international digital health community, a research partner for other educational institutions in Estonia and internationally. It seeks to promote joint expertise and to establish a closer link between research and actual practice. Current research areas include supporting the development of IT solutions for digitalisation of healthcare and examining interoperability factors (strategies, standards, IT architecture, data sets, databases) needed for the implementation of digital health solutions, evaluation of digital health technologies and developing the necessary framework for deployment, testing and development of solutions related to personal medicine.

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Collaboration

Estonian Health Insurance Fund

 

Health Founders

 

Tallinn Health Care College

 

Koostöö ettevõtetega

Collaboration with companies

The e-Medicine Centre actively collaborates with several different companies. The data and health-related research conducted at the centre is an important scientific input for numerous digital health businesses. Many of the students who have completed the Health Care Technology MSc curriculum have started their own digital health start-ups. The e-Medicine Centre offers a superb environment for new innovations and entrepreneurship in health technologies: digital society (digital ecosystem) and e-services.

Networks

Connected Health cluster is a country-wide partnership between health-related stakeholders in Estonia, who are committed to accelerating the adoption of connected health solutions, on an international scale and on commercial terms. Connected Health connects you with the Estonian health innovation ecosystem – we help you to find information or partners, so you can start taking advantage of the unique environment Estonia offers.

Connected Health klaster

The eHealth for Regions Network is an association of stakeholders in the health sector. The Network is an incubator for innovative projects, it facilitates the transnational cooperation on eHealth and wants to create a common European eHealth area. You can develop new project ideas, share information or cooperate with network partners within transnational projects.

eHealth for Regions

Projects

The e-Medicine Centre has 12 years of experience in working with different projects in Estonia and abroad. As a partner, the e-Medicine Centre is usually responsible for conducting scientific research, developing new strategies or sharing expertise on building the unique Health Information Exchange platform in Estonia. Through cross-cultural collaboration, these projects have been the source of innovative ideas and contacts in the e-health network worldwide.

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NORDeHEALTH aims to give patients online access to their electronic health records (PAEHR) and increase self-management and transparency in healthcare. The goal is to enable further digitalization of the public health sector by providing concrete feedback to the national authorities in their respective countries, provide guidelines and frameworks for design, implementation and evaluation of personal eHealthservices (PeHS).

Project goals in detail:

  • Study the current implementation and adoption of PeHS in the Nordic countries to create new knowledge and in-depth understanding of challenges and opportunities.
  • Develop evidence-based valuation frameworks and guidelines to help researchers and practitioners within and beyond the Nordic countries evaluate PeHS and their acceptability and support successful implementation and adoption of PeHS.
  • Explore factors around co-design of PeHS through innovation projects focusing on patient-generated data and tools for patients' co-creation of the medical record, as well as providing best practice guidelines.

Project partners: Uppsala University (Sweden); Örebro University (Rootsi); Skövde University (Sweden); TalTech (Estonia); Aalto University (Finland); Karlstad University (Sweden); Norwegian Centre for E-health Research (Norway); OpenNotes (USA).

More information on the project.

The aim of the trainings is to share new perspectives and knowledge on information security, e-health and introduce different  opportunities to make the everyday work of family physicians and nurses smoother. Additionally, it provides an overview of the cyber threats that the usage of computers and smart devices can create. The training has been developed in collaboration with the Family Physicians Association of Estonia.

The workshop consists of 3 modules:

Module I: "Improving the efficiency and quality of digital documentation"Dr. Eero Merilind - family physician and Arvo Saat - trainer-consultant and the founder of the first computer school in Estonia.

Module II: "Principles of e-health. E-health and primary care", Dr. Peeter Ross - professor of eMedLab at TalTech and radiologist at Tallinn East-Central Hospital. Dr. Madis Tiik - family physician and e-health expert.

Module II: "Information security in family physician's work", Janek Metsallik - IT-expert and head architect of the Estonian Health Information System.

TalTech won the training procurement organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication. The project is financed by the European Social Fund under the support scheme for improving digital literacy.

More information on the project.

Targeting Members Sates and Countries of the EU and eHealth stakeholders, as well as the general public, this project aims to improve health care with the use of ICT. eHAction is the Joint Action supporting the eHealth Network, which in its Multiannual Work Programme 2018-2021, sets targets for exploring eHealth to facilitate the management of chronic diseases and multi-morbidity by increasing sustainability and efficiency of health systems, and by facilitating personalized care and empowering the citizen. Specifically, it will work to find ways to empower people by giving them an active role in managing their health care data and processes, to use health data in an innovative way and to enhance continuity of care through the use of interoperable and cross-border solutions. The eHAction is in line with the Third Programme of EU actions in the field of health contributing to foster health in Europe by promoting the use of eHealth in a structured policy framework.

More information on the project. 

BaltCityPrevention will develop an effective and cost-saving intervention model for public health authorities for prevention intervention planning. This model will combine different elements in an innovative way by following a user-driven, participatory approach and thus presents a novel approach in social innovation that addresses prevention as a large societal challenge. 

BaltCityPrevention-logo

More information on the project.

The overall aim of this project is to contribute to a more integrated and person-centred provision of social, medical and vocational support services to people with disabilities and elderly with high support needs. To this extent, the project will outline a strategy to the Estonian government which shall promote: improvements in the interoperability of registries and administrative datasets to specific cohorts of individuals with integrated care needs and vocational support; the development of measures and indicators through which to support quality improvement and assess performance; the introduction of performance-based financing and payment elements to incentivise integrated service provision; and a closer cooperation between services administered at central and at local level, as well as between local stakeholders.

More information on the project.

The study is aimed to demonstrate the usability of personalised approach for adjusting screening recommendations, based on predicted genetic and cumulative risk estimates for breast cancer including both the detection of moderate and high hereditary breast cancer risk carriers as well as high risk polygenic risk score carriers among healthy individuals. The other project is the implementation of a model for personalised PREVENTION OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES (CVD) AND MORTALITY. The project is aimed to demonstrate the usability of personalised approach for stratification, adjusting screening recommendations, based on predicted genetic and cumulative risk estimates for CVD among healthy individuals by risk factors calculation and genetic testing.

More information on the project.

Health Analytics education is a part of a wider project funded by SITRA aiming at deepening the awareness and understanding of tools and methods in health analytics, and their applicability in developing healthcare services to become more driven by and involving of clients. The goal for this education is to: deepen analytic and technology competences in order to improve and intensify innovative and proactive utilization of health care data in service deliveries; enhance innovation, change and project management skills; broaden perspectives of ICT preconditions and cross-sectoral opportunities in the knowledge-intensive service sector; deepen the know-how of the opportunities brought by IT to activate and involve the customer in the service system; to assess the potential of analytical health information to establish a health analysist’s role and job description in future health services.

More information on the project. 

The aim of the project was to develop a mental health support system called DocuMental. The system would help to reduce medical errors, improve mental health treatment, reduce the time for initial mental status assessment and support the wider use of clinical guidelines. The system also used decision support to assist the specialist in diagnosing the patient.

More information on the project. 

 

During the project new algorithms will be developed for a drug dose decision support system. One of the algorithms is a data processing algorithm which finds the eGFR test result from the free text. The eGFR characterizes patients' kidney operation and in case of kidney diseases the drug doses have to be overviewed by the health care professional. The second algorithm makes it possible for a health care professional to automatically have an overview of patients' medications in case eGFR results are out of thresholds.

More information on the project. 

The aim of the project is to develop a training program which involves different health care technology stakeholders, encourages discussions between actors and gives an overview of IT-development process-chain.

More information on the project.

The goal of the MasterMind project is to provide high quality treatment to people diagnosed with depression, using advanced digital technologies.

More information on the project.

Assessment of terms for the development of clinically valid and commercially viable personalised medicine products and services is the first step towards developing and bringing new personalised medicine products and services to the martket. During the project stakeholders' needs are assessed, market survey is conducted and health information databases and information management requirements are analysed.

More information on the project. 

 

As part of the national feasibility study for personalised medicine in Estonia, TalTech e-Medicine Centre conducted a pre-liminary study in order to further develop the ideas for the final research project. The results were used as input for the planning of the final research project.

More information on the project. 

The aim of the study was to provide conceptual digital decision support solutions supporting clinical decision making following the principles of personalised medicine. During the study model scenarios for three clinical conditions covering a lifespan of a hypothetical individual with a hypothetical but realistic health data and medical history were developed. Based on the scenarios a draft of the prototype, consisting of an individuals’ and healthcare professionals’ view on the digital health portal and electronic patient record, including decision support recommendations was developed. As a result of this feasibility study the strategy of implementation of DDSS in personalised medicine in Estonia was provided.

More information on the project. 

 

Estonian e-health strategy 2020 is focused on specific decisions and actions needed to further develop the national e-health systems in Estonia. The strategy was created with the help of numerous stakeholders, including different ministries and representatives of health care and IT organisations in Estonia.  

More information on the project.

The goal of this project is to evaluate the suitability of an existing clinical support tool called EDMedS (The Evidence-Based Medicine Electronic Decision Support) for the Estonian market, considering the local legislation and treatment guidelines. The tool was developed in Finland and currently used in 16 countries.

More information on the project.

 

The goal of this project was to analyse the effect of a decision support system prototype on the communication between patients and doctors.

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The objective of CHROMED project is to evaluate the impact of adopting a health and lifestyle status management system to support elderly patients with a combination of chronic diseases involving respiratory and cardiovascular systems. A large scale clinical trial will be implemented to develop and evaluate clinical protocols and organizational models based on the new technologies in order to improve both quality of life and healthcare costs associated with these patients. The CHROMED idea arises from a previously successful research experience in patient monitoring at home. The CHROMED project focuses its investigation on the applicability of an integrated solution for a pathological condition which: a) is very prevalent in ageing patients and b) severely impairs quality of life: COPD with other typical comorbidities such as congestive heart failure and sleep disordered breathing. An international multi-centric randomized control trial will be implemented in five European regions: United Kingdom, Sweden, Estonia, Spain and Slovenia, representing different social and organizational contexts in Europe. In each country, the participating care organizations have existing practices and procedures for age-related disease management. In CHROMED a specific ICT platform in combination with a set of both well established and innovative devices will be used to collect and process useful clinical data at the patient’s home. In particular, for each patient a set of devices will be defined considering the existing co-morbidities

More information on the project. 

 

Demand for primary health care services is rising. With the retirement of older professionals and unwillingness amongst younger professionals to re-locate to remote areas, there is a shortage of physicians, especially in rural areas. The project “PrimCareIT” meets these challenges through promoting and developing technical support among health care workers in rural areas: • Tele-mentoring as a tool supporting continuing medical education. • Tele-consultation provides a valuable technical and methodological support for communication between professionals. Tele-consultation and tele-mentoring support professional networking and career opportunities.

More information on the project.

Developing new practices for teleconsultation and diabetes. Information Technology has the main and centered role in creating environment for health care services with providing secure and innovative work methods, cooperation and know-how sharing. The growing trend of teleconsultation sets a demand for virtual and secure data sharing in providing and also consuming clinical e-Health services.

More information on the project.

Cooperation of institutions of high education and companies for development and marketing of joint curricula preparing eHealth technology specialists.

More information on the project.