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Digital transformation in long-term care: Innovation in the field

On 16 May, 2024, a well-attended EHTEL Imagining 2029 webinar - organised together with the support of the Laurel project - brought together EHTEL members and friends and Laurel consortium members. 

Close to 30 people attended the webinar. EHTEL Digital Health Facilitators, Tino MARTI and Sara CANELLA, ran the show. 

The webinar:

  • Showcased a truly innovative application of digital technology to improve long-term care
  • Discussed how best to identify other potential applications for the near future.
  • Generated a series of reflections on how to assess the innovations

Laurel is now at the start of its activities. It is about to begin searching for concrete examples of best practices in the digital transformation of long-term care. It is also formulating frameworks for analysis. This is a great moment to get more involved with the project!



The webinar was introduced by Tino MARTI, who outlined the work of the Laurel project. He highlighted its ambitions to formulate actionable policy recommendations on integrated long-term care. Key to the project are care services provided in the community, in people's homes and care homes, and in hospitals. The project makes available the opportunity for there to be a far greater focus on care services in the future

Our action plan

👀 Watch the video of the presentations below or continue reading the summary.


Innovations from the field: SiSS Manresa



The first part of the webinar concentrated on digital technologies in support of people with long-term care needs in the city of Manresa, in the otherwise rural, central region of Catalonia in Spain.  It examined Manresa's, and the Althaia hospital's, experience with digitalising long-term care.  Bartomeu AYALA (Head of Training and Professional Development at the Althaia Foundation) presented the SiSS Manresa success story, with the support of Christophe BONNETON. The Manresa initiative is built on a unique model.


Professor AYALA emphasised how SiSS Manresa's activities are based around integrated care and social services, effectively providing a "hospital at home". With this focus on care, he alerted the audience to the challenges facing care providers and care-givers - including informal care-givers. Among the challenges in the past have been the differences between the health and social welfare (care) systems; difficulties in data transfer between the two systems; and a lack of ease of interaction among various jurisdictions. Manresa wanted to create an Integrated Social and Health Care Service, known as SiSS Manresa: it would seek to include permission of access to the system by both social services and health systems. The service therefore defines its overall aims as covering both health care needs and social care needs.


The sophisticated digital offering that is now working includes AI, alerts, dashboards, data processing, intelligent videos, and various medical devices. The services are available either in the hospital ward or in the person's (patient's) own apartment. The platform integrates the work of some 15 technology companies: Professor AYALA focused  especially the work of Alexia6 and Zerinthia Healthtech. Ultimately, SiSS Manresa hopes to be able to spread the platform's use elsewhere in Catalonia, Spain, and Europe.

Webinar participants were intrigued by the initiative. They asked numerous specific questions about the care-related service. They were interested to know more about its context, financing, evaluation methods/models, and current stage of development. Especial tribute was paid to the Manresa service's accomplishments by Salvador Sino ALGADO, an occupation therapist/mental health expert from Zarazoga, Spain. 

Shared vision

Laurel Digital Framework Concept



The second part of the webinar was more theoretical. Jorge Alfonso KURANO of the University Polytechnic of Madrid, Spain introduced a potential framework for the analysis of high-level technologies applied to the long-term care sector. The focus on digital technologies was placed in the context of a six-part overall framework for analysis that is being developed by the Laurel project. Many different technologies can assist a variety of areas of integrated long-term care. The other five domains include: financing; information and research; leadership and governance;  the workforce; other areas; and especially service delivery. The delivery of integrated long-term care might alter even further in the future, with implications for both formal and informal carers and for the types of care they deliver and in a range of locations.

Participants were interested in how these examples can be converted into technology plans and actual use of technologies, as well as concrete care of people in their communities. 

Let us focus on technologies

Discussion and debate

The webinar included a discussion moderated by Sara CANELLA of EHTEL. Among attendees, chief preoccupations were: 

  • How to fit together policy frameworks and technical (digital) frameworks?
  • Practically speaking, what comes next for the real-life application of Althaia's activities and for aspects of the Laurel framework?
  • How many use cases/case studies to investigate/explore and compare/contast?
  • How to further:

              - Involve the social economy/social services?

              - Face the challenges of scaling-up?

              - Align the approaches with current work practices and/or future work practices?

              - Pay for/finance these new systems?

              - Focus in-depth on care servicescarers, and care supported by digital                              technologies?


Throughout the webinar, EHTEL members and community shared their own expertise by offering their insights and experiences.

EHTEL is now on the look-out for many more experiences of supporting integrated long-term care with digital technologies. Get more involved, and contact us with your best practices!


General background

This Imagining 2029 Transforming Care Delivery track event was supported by the Laurel project. It formed part of EHTEL's 2024 work programme on 'Imagining 2029'. The track  focuses on how the development of hybrid models of care copes with increasing needs and demand, new digital skills, and the value of new AI-based technologies. This webinar, and several others, constitute EHTEL's programme of activities that are all being held during its 25th anniversary year.

Envisaged in autumn 2024 is a webinar with a more systems' perspective: "How do regions in general handle the implementation of integrated long-term care?".

Learn more about the LAUREL project. Read more about WHO Europe's 2021 report on the integrated delivery of health and social services for long term care. 


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