The ParkinsonCare telenursing service for people with Parkinson’s disease in the Italian regions most affected by the Coronavirus emergency (Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Piedmont) will be available free of charge from 12 March through 12 June.
On the one hand, the initiative supports patients by offering nursing assistance for the management of symptoms and by monitoring treatment adherence, and on the other hand it allows attending physicians to regularly monitor the patients’ clinical conditions, as well as providing an alert service for implementation of the necessary medical interventions.
The non-profit Confederazione Parkinson Italia, the Italian national network of Parkinson’s disease associations, and Careapt – a recent start-up of Zambon Group dedicated to developing digital solutions for the management of neurodegenerative diseases – have created a joint initiative to offer support to people with Parkinson’s disease who live in the Italian regions most affected by the Coronavirus emergency (Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Piedmont), who have been forced to stay at home for many days now, through the ParkinsonCare specialised telenursing assistance programme. From Thursday 12 March to 12 June, these patients will able to access ParkinsonCare free of charge. To receive assistance, simply call the number (+39) 02 2107 9997 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The service will be available daily from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Since COVID-19 is mainly being fought in the hospital wards and intensive care units, it is vitally important that millions of elderly people stay in their homes as long as possible so as not to fuel the dramatic emergency faced at this time by Italian hospitals. These people also include those with Parkinson’s disease: 260,000 individuals in Italy are affected by this disease that typically occurs around 65 years of age and involves progressive motor disability as well as other disorders, which are often accompanied by experiences of increasing isolation, anxiety and depression.
ParkinsonCare supports patients by assisting them in the management of symptoms and monitoring treatment adherence, as well as allowing their attending physicians to regularly monitor their clinical condition and providing an alert service for implementation of the necessary medical interventions.
We see digital innovation as an enabler of social innovation that is necessary to overcome the challenge of chronic disease, bringing to the patient’s home the support and healthcare skills that can ensure continuity of care – commented Orientina Di Giovanni, Chief Operating Officer of Careapt. At a time like this, when the challenge of chronicity intersects with that of an epidemic that particularly affects elderly people with chronic diseases, we can only step up and make ourselves available to them.
Due to the large number of people potentially affected, ParkinsonCare’s team of nurses and neurologists will prioritise access according to the level of urgency and complexity of the different interventions, in coordination with the treating physicians where possible. In addition, neurologists and general practitioners will also be able to select from among their patients those they consider most in need of the service and inform them about the initiative.
Furthermore, in view of the evolution of the Coronavirus emergency that is affecting Italy and of the latest Italian Prime Ministerial Decree of 9 March, the Confederazione Parkinson Italia non-profit organisation and Careapt are constantly monitoring the situation and considering how to extend the ParkinsonCare service to people living in other regions of the country.
Most of our affiliates also provide psychological support to people with Parkinson’s disease on their territory. The closure of offices and meeting places has reduced this activity, and we are now partly resorting to support via phone and the Internet. This is a voluntary action that we will integrate with the professional counselling provided by ParkinsonCare – remarked Giangi Milesi, President of Confederazione Parkinson Italia, who explained: We have collaborated with the ParkinsonCare project since its inception to support people with Parkinson’s towards a more conscious and participatory approach to the disease. The goal is always the well-being of the person; the sick have the right to well-being and their well-being is necessary to society. With the outbreak of the Coronavirus epidemic, we knew we needed to strengthen our collaboration with ParkinsonCare in order to give a concrete response, albeit modest, to the discomforts of the emergency.
Pro bono contributors to the intiative include Boston Consulting Group – which designed and tested ParkinsonCare with Careapt –, Salesforce, Arlanis Reply and BeCloud Solutions, who are its technological partners, along with Dolci Advertising.