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RBI Launched HERO Project Funded by the Central European Initiative COVID-19 Call

Feb 26th 2021
RBI Launched HERO Project Funded by the Central European Initiative COVID-19 Call

prof. dr. sc. Mariastefania Antica

The Ruđer Bošković Institute and partners have launched the interactive e-platform 'Healthcare Online' (HERO) a project aimed at helping patients suffering from haematological diseases as to improve the quality of the medical care which has been compromised with the Corona pandemic.

The HERO project is financed in the framework of the COVID-19 Extraordinary Call for Proposals 2020 launched by the Central European Initiative (CEI) in April 2020. A total budget of EUR 600.000 will support projects in the three priority areas: Healthcare and telemedicine (MED), Education and e-learning/distance learning (EDU), Support to Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

The Call was launched in order to provide support for its Member States in the light of the unprecedented pandemic caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 affecting schools, working environments and especially the healthcare systems.

The HERO project is one of 22 projects accepted for funding from as many as 7.000 applicants for this CEI call.

The project brings together a group of scientists and medical specialists who will enable the most vulnerable part of the population, convalescents from haematological diseases, to meet and consult a personal doctor online or by telephone, without exposing themselves to coronavirus or other pathogens.

Both, doctor and patient have their account and are able to follow up the therapy and recovery through internet from the comfort of their own home, avoiding public transportation and crowded hospital waiting rooms.

Besides that, the interactive interface has also an educational aspect for the general public explaining the diseases and therapies, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, immunology, Corona virus and vaccination. It will be continuously upgraded with the most recent achievements and discoveries regarding the pandemic.

'’By the HERO project, we want to support individuals with an impaired immune system and thus increase the quality of medical care which has been compromised with the coronavirus pandemic. We have created an interactive online interface for our patients and their doctors, but also for the educational purposes on the haematopoietic diseases, coronavirus and immunology. I must emphasize that this is NOT a platform for remote diagnosis and therapy, since the anamnesis, diagnosis and therapy require a personal face to face meetings with the doctor.

Here, we provide the patient with the opportunity to remain in direct contact with his doctor upon returning home from the hospital treatment. The doctor is able to monitor and follow up the patient’s recovery and to readjusts therapy accordingly, but without physical contact. This way we are able to provide quality medical support to the targeted group of patients without exposing them to the risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus by frequent visits to the hospital, '' explains prof. dr. sc. Mariastefania Antica, project leader.

In addition to the RBI, the project brings together physicians and experts from the University Clinical Hospital Merkur, CERRM-Medical Faculty and the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia and the Open International University 'Ukraine' in Kiev, Connecticut University, USA, the Medical Faculty La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. In order to reach out beyond the National application the web page is also available in English, Ukrainian and Italian languages. We hope that the e-platform Healthcare online, HERO will be useful also to patients in other countries. .

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