Facing a crisis on two fronts from the crippling financial meltdown of 2008 and an ageing population with chronic healthcare problems, authorities in the Basque Country have looked to technology to ease the strain on their health service.
"Eighteen percent of the population is over the age of 65, and this has led to an ageing population with greater and increased health needs," Antonio Arraiza, Basque Country clinical director, said in a report for CNBC's Innovation Cities.
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The Basque solution to this problem has been to develop a centralized, multi-platform healthcare system, which enables patients – many with restricted mobility – to access healthcare using their phones, the internet and a new patient monitoring system called TEKI, developed in conjunction with Accenture.
"This allows the chronic patients in their home to interact with their physicians, in a real-time, visual way," Mark Knickrehm, senior global managing director, Accenture Health and Public Service, told CNBC.
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Patients using TEKI are supplied with a heart rate monitor, a spirometer to check respiratory levels, and a motion sensor – originally designed for use in video games – which evaluates their mobility. Real-time data is sent to a patient's doctor, who can then administer care and write out prescriptions remotely.