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Digital therapy in the care of the homeless – developments in the Maltese-Hungarian charitable service | Hungarian Post

The three research projects completed to date examined, among others, the access of homeless people to digital devices, their use and understanding of the Internet for health, the use of telemedicine in the care of the homeless, and the potential for launching innovative screening programmes.

The hybrid model is a holistic approach to primary care where in-person clinic services, ambulatory care and online visits form a flexible and interoperable system.

Sándor Békási, Chief Physician at the 24-Hour Health Center of the Maltese Charity Service, reported on the model and results of the Health Research Program (DocRoom) to date; Zsuzsa Győrffy, Associate Professor at Semmelweis University’s Institute of Behavioral Sciences and Chair of the Digital Health Research Group, and Emilia Morva, Chair of the Central Hungarian MMSZ Region.

Research results are very important to us because we can provide innovations based on them. Our goal is to be able to efficiently transform the supply system while improving the quality and access to services, said Emilia Morva, District Leader.

The introduction of the hybrid form of care in the relief organization’s homeless care institutions already builds on the results of our research – explained Sándor Békási, chief medical officer of the 24-hour health center at MMSZ.

The expert stressed that the model serves both the care system and the people being cared for by safely managing chronic diseases, preventing sudden deterioration, and accessing health care for the homeless.

To date, we have surveyed three areas of combined research: attitudes toward telemedicine among homeless people, access to digital tools and the use of the Internet for healthcare, and provision of professional background for both social institutions and clinicians in direct testing of telemedicine. Based on this, we believe digital healthcare can be put to good use in caring for the homeless as well, said Zsuzsa Győrffy, associate professor at the Institute for Behavioral Sciences at Semmelweis University and head of the Digital Health Research Group.

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Among the most important findings of the completed research project, Zsuzsa Győrffy noted, among others, that homeless people are as open to telemedicine services as other groups of the population; 69.6 percent of those without a cover own a phone, 34.6 percent have a smartphone, and 10.8 percent have already used a medical app.

In the three-month introductory telemedicine program, a total of 55 patients from four homeless shelters completed a six-person chronic disease management program with the participation of three specialists and a social worker with a nursing degree working in the shelters.

In addition to innovative forms of care, the DocRoom Research Program plans to examine the effectiveness of a wide range of screening and prevention tools that can improve the health prospects of both the homeless and pave the way for improving the health of other disadvantaged groups.

More information:

source: Hungarian Maltese Charitable Service

Photo: Pence Kovacs

Hungarian Post