Project ITALIA

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Project Background

Partnerships for support

Bucks New University works with public and private sector partners to develop innovative services in Telehealth and Assisted Living technologies.

The project is run by the Centre of Excellence for Telehealth and Assisted Living (CETAL) in partnership with:


Opportunities for innovative businesses

Are you a business which has a product, idea or technology which could be used in the growing Telehealth sector?

Project italia provides an opportunity to develop products and services that public and private healthcare providers could deploy to provide remote support and assistive technologies.

You will benefit from unprecedented access to high profile clinicians and healthcare commissioners. You will also have the opportunity to explore possibilities for collaborative projects with R&D funding for new ideas and products.

Project ITALIA runs for 12 months and includes workshops and events where you can develop ideas that play a key role in shaping the health care strategies of the future.

ITALIA roadmap - what we set out to achieve

  • The number of people in the UK aged 65 and over rose from 9.1 million in 1991 to 10.5 million in 2011.
  • It is expected to reach 12.2 million by 2020 and 14.8 million by 2030.
  • 75% of people over 74 suffer from chronic disease - with the incidence expected to double by 2030.
  • Current levels of health and social care are unsustainable with this rise.

Treatment of people with long-term conditions comprises:

  • 70% of health and social care expenditure;
  • 70% of in-patient bed days;
  • 50% of GP appointments;
  • 8% of out-patient and A&E appointments

Since 1998 over 35 Government reports have called for higher levels of remote care. Some £170 million has been invested in national and regional initiatives since 2006.


Greater levels of remote care would reduce:

  • unsustainable demand for residential/nursing care;
  • the burden placed on carers and provide them with more personal freedom;
  • acute admissions to hospitals;
  • accidents and falls in patients' homes.

It would increase choice and independence for service users


Future health care services will:

  • consider patient and service-users as part of the care team;
  • focus on the development of effective health and social care teams;
  • revolutionise patient and user-experiences through information and communications technology;
  • harness the potential of new medical technologies more effectively;
  • use data intelligently to empower patients and support professionals.

Overcoming the challenges

A range of skills, knowledge, resources and experience are required to overcome barriers to the development and implementation of Telehealth services. It can only be achieved by participation and collaboration, solutions cannot be forced.


New distributed and highly participatory systems imply new roles and ways of working across the public and private sectors. A user-driven approach requires open research and development and the application of information technology to deliver effective services.

How ITALIA can help

Many Telehealth applications have failed to secure widespread adoption. Coordination and collaboration are the keys to successful delivery.


The italia project uses a shared development and Intellectual Property Model to help generate products and services which both parties have a shared interest in implementing.


The project:

  • bring groups of business people from different industry sectors together;
  • stimulates intellectual property development to enhance the economic viability of collaborative programmes;
  • establishes multidisciplinary teams to generate viable product and service concepts for innovative Telehealth applications;
  • shares best practice;
  • brings multidisciplinary teams together and helps public sector services to develop 'sandpits' for experimental development;
  • improves the capability of private sector IT firms to work with health and social services;
  • improves the ability of the health and social care sector to adopt and embed new technology in their organisations.

Value through networking

italia uses themed workgroups to bring clinical and health-service professionals together with ICT developers and service providers.


The Sandpit Workgroups:

  • create collaborative 'living lab' environments to test and develop Telehealth solutions;
  • work with a specific challenge set by clinicians or industry requirements;
  • match solution providers with the challenge;
  • establish the right legal framework;
  • benchmark the current situation and available solutions;
  • explore innovative technology solutions;
  • develop 'state of the art'solutions and 'product concepts'

New types of partnership

italia aims to create new partnerships based on mutual interests.


  • People : who require the skills and the will to strive for improvement
  • Processes: that become more effective and efficient
  • Technology: that both drives change and enables innovation
  • Policies: to enable the building of partnerships and critical mass, and to guide innovation and implementation

To discuss how ITALIA can help you contact:

Firas Sarhan Director of Centre of Excellence for Telehealth and Assisted Living Tel: 07921 236 918 Email: firas.sarhan@bucks.ac.uk