BIOEF – Basque Country Foundation for Health Innovation and Research (Spain)

BIOEF (Basque Country Foundation for Health Innovation and Research) is a non profit foundation created and financed by the Health and Consumer’s Affairs Ministry of the Basque Government to take care of the research and innovation activities carried out within the Basque Health System. The Foundation also seeks to provide a framework for communication and co-operation between the various sectors involved in health research, development and innovation at autonomous community, national and international levels.

BIOEF carries out its task through two Institutes: o+iker and o+berri. O+iker (Basque Institute for Health Research) coordinates the clinical investigators based in public health system as a consequence of a signed agreement. OIKER is the link in between clinical investigators, University and biotechnology companies. O+berri (The Basque Institute for Healthcare Innovation): aims to be a platform for ongoing innovation in the Basque Healthcare System, committed, through excellence, to the continuous development of its organisational systems, instruments and management systems, encouraging debate, being forward-looking, anticipating tendencies, changes and requirements, to the benefit of Basque Society and its Healthcare System, projecting and reinforcing, its good name and prestige.

The Osarean project, at the centre of Sustains objectives, is a strategic and transversal action whose aim is to develop a technological and organizational platform that allows a multichannel interaction of all citizens of the Basque Country with the health system. Osarean, being complementary to current face to face healthcare services, is facilitating all processes, simplifying the procedures for the citizens, providing excellence to the clinical work and, above all and the most relevant, paying special attention to the treatment and monitoring of patients with chronic diseases. Osarean project is integrated into the Strategy for Tackling the Challenge of Chronicity in the Basque Country.

This project involves different entities of the Basque Country Public Health System. Because its nature, BIOEF is the organization entitled to represent and coordinate all the necessary resources to complete the project’s activities. Osatek, under its umbrella, was appointed by the Basque Department of Health, to launch and lead the Osarean Project throughout the whole Basque Country.

One of the main objectives of the OSAREAN project is to promote the patients involvement on their health, providing all the tools to introduce a culture of shared responsibility of their diseases. This goal is in total alignment with the main objective of Sustains, which is the provision of a set of services around online access by the citizens to their EHRs (electronic health records) so that the patients are empowered and become responsible of their own health status. The main benefit of this strategy is that citizens will be better informed about their health and will be able to make more conscious decisions about treatment and lifestyles in collaboration with the healthcare professionals that are looking after them. The approach to achieve this strategy in the OSAREAN project is based on the provision of personalized services tailored to the needs of each group of users of the healthcare system: patients, health professionals and citizens.

Some of the OSAREAN services OSATEK is launching or will be launched in the near future are as follows:

  • Patient expert program, so that the patient is co-responsible of his health and he/she receives continuous system support.

  • Personal health folder, that is, the patient decides which health information wants to share with other professionals. This personal health folder is the health data that can be accessed from other health-care systems outside the patient’s own health system, for example when going abroad, when travelling or when having consultations with private health insurance companies.

  • Getting online access to the Electronic Health Records so that the Patient can access all his/her medical information.

  • Providing professional advice, pharmacologic or psychological advice to the citizens.

  • Attending a non-emergency consultation for a patient based on the analysis of his/her EHR. This consultation can be made following different channels: the traditional face-to-face, by email, by SMS, by phone, by Internet or either by post mail.

  • Providing different health services for people suffering from chronic diseases when travelling abroad.