Amsterdam based Knowledge and health care institutes join forces to improve urgent care for the elderly

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam health & technology institute (ahti), and health care institution SIGRA have joined forces in a new research project called “DOLCE VITA”.

Publication date: 13-09-2019

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam health & technology institute (ahti), and health care institution SIGRA have joined forces in a new research project called “DOLCE VITA”. In this project the institutions collaborate in order to improve urgent healthcare for people of 75 years and older. For this project a budget of 1.9 million euros is available. The research is funded by the NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES) and a number of healthcare institutes from Amsterdam.

Elderly experience difficulties in getting fast, adequate and appropriate care when needed. Temporary care is not always available on short notice. The emergency department of the hospital is overloaded and after hospitalization, replacement is often difficult. As a result, appropriate care for a growing group of elderly with urgent health issues is not available.  Because of a lack of overview of the care chain, deciding what is the best solution for these problems is difficult.

In the project a model will be developed that addresses ‘what if’ questions about the effects of longterm policy decisions in the healthcare system. The model can be used to support complex decision-making process regarding the healthcare system.

Bianca Buurman (Amsterdam UMC): “We foresee a growth of 60% of the group of people 75 years and older, a group with a lot of urgent healthcare issues. It is therefore essential to substantiate decisions about which interventions help to keep healthcare accessible for everyone and to improve the outcomes for elderly.”

Project leader Rob van der Mei (CWI): “This collaboration is a brilliant opportunity to tackle a societal problem together, with this unique bundling of knowledge from stakeholders from science as well as practice. By bringing together knowledge and data we can predict what it means when we bet on increasing the number of beds for temporary care in the city. Will this really lead to less crisis situations, less hospitalizations,  and returns to home more often? That way we can answer ‘what if’ questions that are crucial for complex decision making processes.”

The research is being executed by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers coming from geriatrics, data science and stochastics. Under the flag of SIGRA, a user group 14 nursing homes are involved. CWI is in the lead of this project.