Project information

Acronym: DIGITALIS

Project title: Empowering informal carers in their daily usage of digital

healthcare services

Project number: 2021-1-IT02-KA220-ADU-000033535

Action Type: KA220-ADU – Cooperation partnerships in adult education

Field: Adult Education

Duration: 36 months

Start date: 01/02/2022  

End date: 31/01/2025

Partner countries: Italy, Greece and Hungary

Project coordinator: Fondazione Democenter – SIPE, Italy

Contact person: Simona Sbardelatti, simona.sbardelatti@tpm.bio

Project background 

The DIGITALIS project will focus on female informal caregivers (FICs) with special focus on those  providing long-term homecare and who need to re-enter the labour market after a long period of  inactivity. It is estimated that 80 % of care work is provided by informal carers in Europe. There are thousands of Europeans, mostly women caring for a family member with support needs and specially the older adults. Many of those women are out of the labour market and face challenges in accessing adequate resources, support services and social benefits. Leaving these informal carers without support exposes them to poverty, health problems and undermines gender equality. This situation is accentuated by an acceleration of the digital transformation in the healthcare sector which requires the ability to manipulate and use e-health services and related technologies, on a daily basis, to provide the older adults with an adapted level of care. Informal carers need to access adequate and adapted training and skills development notably related to digital competences. 

The DIGITALIS project will tackle two major needs of the target group:

  • Needs in terms of training opportunity: from a major data collection conducted in 2017 by COFACE Families Europe, it appears that almost 2/3 of the respondents were never offered the opportunity to take part in any training, or skill development.
  • Need to enhance professional experience and diversify opportunities for employability after a long period of time out of the labour market: by providing long-term care, FICs have acquired informal learning in different  fields related to care support and most of the time they are not aware of it

Aims 

The aim of the DIGITALIS project is to empower female informal carers with the essential digital skills and knowledge to fully exploit the potential of digital healthcare services and technologies to improve their own professional situation as well as the quality of life and safety of their relatives they care for. 

Specific objectives 

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • Improve the digital skills and competences of female informal carers for employability through an adapted and tailored-made training programme in Greece and Hungary;
  • Define and validate a complete national digital healthcare services and technologies landscape and the related digital skills roadmap according to the female informal caregivers’ needs in Greece and Hungary;
  • Develop, test and assess innovative e-learning courses and modules based on social innovation and human-centered approaches to better respond to female informal carers learning needs;
  • Structure the main results, lessons learnt, informal carers testimonies and policy recommendations into a practical guide to enable dissemination and replicability at the European level.

Planned results

The key deliverable of the DIGITALIS project is an innovative blended learning approach proposing a modular digital skills training programme with tailored-made content, specifically designed by and for the female informal caregivers according to their national healthcare environment and context. To reach this goal, the project results planned are:

  • R1 Designing a common digital healthcare services and skills methodology to assess the informal caregivers’ digital needs. Within the PR1, a clear picture on the special skills the informal carers need for utilizing the potential of digital tools in their daily work will be done. 
  • R2 Developing a set of digital training content modules and sessions. This Project Result will develop a set of digital training modules and sessions for informal caregivers which will help them to utilize new technologies in their daily work.
  • R3 Developing the e-learning platform to support the test and assessment of digital training content modules and sessions. This platform will provide also the opportunity to gain digital skills by working, to collaborate in digital environment by communicating, to discuss the sharing knowledge in a community of other participants.
  • R4 Building a replication guide to scale-up the Project Results at the European level. This replication guide will be a major result from the project and its main goal is to capitalise on the activities performed in the previous Project Results, identifying replicability potential and support future upscaled implementation of the DIGITALIS approach at the European level. At the beginning, the guide will be produced in EN, GR, HU and also in Italian.

Impact

The impact expected will be positive and dynamic and it regards mainly the informal carers group. In particular, their digital skills will be much more developed compared to the beginning of the project, and they will become more recipient for the newest solutions developed in their area. They also will gain time by using the proper tools and applications thus they will be able to better support their relatives or have more effective time management. Informal carers will also obtain a different approach of the work of carers as they will have a closer look on their difficulties and challenges to keep up with the growing number of up-to-date applications and tools designed for home healthcare. So, the project will bring a range of innovations to designing and developing courses, notably through the implementation of the social innovation approach related to the co-creation process. The method used in DIGITALIS will promote digital skills and adaptation to technologies in all the population and can be transferred to any other sector not only for adult education and training providers but for citizens who want to see their skill gaps “to achieve goals related to work, employability, learning, leisure and participation in the digital society.

Partner organizations