Category Archives: Patient education

Plus sur TAVIE-Femme

Le project infirmier TAVIE-Femme est lauréat du Prix Égalité Thérèse Casgrain 2016 dans la catégorie « Santé », ce qu’on a déjà brièvement mentionné dans la news précédente (en Anglais) et sur notre site web.  Voici, par ailleurs, un extrait du texte de soumission du projet qui illustre bien son objectif :

“La profession infirmière tire ses origines dans le prendre soin et l’accompagnement aux malades, aux démunis et aux personnes stigmatisées. Encore aujourd’hui sa raison d’être demeure la santé et le mieux-être des personnes et de leur famille. Ainsi, les infirmières et les infirmiers s’activent au quotidien à offrir des soins et des services de qualité aux communautés et dans les établissements de santé. Dans une ère d’avancées technologiques permettant d’offrir un soin en temps réel, la Chaire de recherche sur les nouvelles pratiques de soins infirmiers de l’Université de Montréal a développé un concept d’interventions infirmières virtuelles et une plateforme informatique appelés TAVIETM pour Traitement, Assistance Virtuelle Infirmière et Enseignement. Un soutien personnalisé est proposé aux personnes vivant avec une maladie chronique dans la prise en charge de leur condition de santé en ciblant leur capacité d’agir. Concrètement, ces interventions Web sont constituées de séances interactives à l’ordinateur ou sur tablette numérique et animées par une infirmière virtuelle qui engage la personne dans un processus d’apprentissage d’habiletés d’autogestion. Les interventions Web permettent de soutenir les personnes vivant avec une maladie chronique en leur offrant en tout temps un accès à de l’éducation personnalisée et à de l’information fiable et de qualité. Trop souvent, les informations sur la maladie et sur son traitement ne sont pas bien comprises par les patientes et les patients, fragilisant ainsi la prise en charge de la maladie et sa gestion. De plus, l’accès à l’information permet aux proches de mieux comprendre les aléas de la maladie et de démystifier les craintes entourant la maladie elle-même et ses conséquences et/ou ses risques.

VIH-TAVIE est une intervention infirmière virtuelle qui vise à soutenir les personnes vivant avec le VIH dans la prise des traitements antirétroviraux. Sachant que les femmes vivant avec le VIH doivent composer avec des défis spécifiques à leur genre et à leur condition de santé, notamment la planification et le suivi de grossesse, la Chaire de recherche sur les nouvelles pratiques de soins infirmiers de l’Université de Montréal a développé un TAVIE-Femme pour répondre à leurs besoins. L’objectif est de cibler la réalité unique de ces femmes pour optimiser leur santé mais aussi pour prévenir les risques de transmission du VIH au bébé”.


Kosovo: diabetes patients receive the foot care guide

Diabetic Foot Care by nurse Vjollca Kola is a project the WeObservatory has been overseeing last year (read previous post). We have been able to help the nurse put together unnamedand print a Guide for Patients in the local (Albanian) language. The guides have been recently delivered and Vjollca is finally able to give them out at her practice (picture to the right).  It is commonly known  among diabetes specialists that poor basic awareness and self-care of feet in patients with diabetes – especially in developing countries – is the first cause of complications and amputations. Thus, providing basic guidelines on paper and online is absolutely necessary.  Speaking of raising

Screen shot of practice's FB page
Screen shot of practice’s FB page

awareness online, nurse Vjollca has also created a Facebook page for her practice keeping the community posted on events and communicating general information on diabetic foot care. Notice the Guide has been exhibited there too.

Teo the Duckling

Childhood and Diabetes

“Children must incorporate the illness into their daily life, but it is not easy at first. At the age of 4-6 years old they may feel different from their colleagues and friends. To include the illness into their daily life activities and avoid  stigmatization have been the key factors that pushed us to create this story” Norma Grau.

eHealth Projects for Patients Empowerment

The WeObservatory is happy to announce the launch Patients Commons for eHealth WePatients –  a WeObservatory and Connecting Nurses initiative to support patient empowerment in self-management of chronic conditions, pregnancy, disaster preparedness and ageing. The objective is to raise awareness of behavioral change models and tools that can be applied to improve patient adherence and patients’ health outcomes. WePatients provides information on eHealth projects focused on patient empowerment along the stages of life, as well as resources, publications and patients’ stories in three languages: English, French and Spanish.

Click here to see the list of these projects.

Nursing today: interview with nurse and writer Rob Fraser

 How is the “digital” impacting the nursing profession? What are the values of online initiatives like Connecting Nurses? What does a career in nursing look like today? What is the future of nursing?

We met with Rob Fraser MN RN to ask him these and other questions:

“I’m Rob Fraser, registered nurse in Canada, I work in Toronto and I have multiple roles in things that I’m involved with. Right now I full time work in research and development translating clinical research guidelines into written documents that help nurses and physicians carry out best practice. I also work clinically at a hospital. The third thing I do on the side is consulting work and supporting healthcare organizations around online engagement of care providers and patients.

What kind of organizations do you work with?

Canadian nursing association, the Nurses Association of Ontario, a number of hospitals and Sanofi Pharma Company. During my undergraduate studies I’ve become aware of the lack of use of technology within healthcare. My role is to work with those more experienced clinically and teach them to use the new tools that become cheaper to share content and advance healthcare. I’ve been working for 6 years like that. There is a lot of interest from researches who are very focused on what they are doing and are not always aware of the changes going on “outside”.

Please tell us a little about your education.

I did my undergraduate at Ryerson University and then my masters of nursing at the University of Toronto. I was fortunate to be pushed towards the profession by one of my best friends – my mother – after I traveled to India and Trinidad to do volunteer work around care and community development she suggested that I consider the profession.

When I looked into it, it turned out to be a university degree and it was becoming more advanced and specialized in research. It also had a very close relationship with patients.

Plus, as an undergraduate I could already start working and go back internationally and bring a skill set and knowledge and expertise rather than just help clean and do basic kind of things which don’t always have a long term impact.


I graduated in 2009 and because of a motorcycle accident I delayed working clinically until 2011. I was taking time to recover and do theScreen Shot 2015-01-22 at 9.03.11 PM masters. And that’s also when I wrote a book on how nurses can use social media. Which was published by an honors society.

Did you feel any major changes or shifts within the profession from when you started ?

That’s one of the interesting parts: I don’t think I noticed a huge shift from when I started (counting my first clinical practice as an undergraduate). The pace of change in healthcare is much more slow and deliberate versus the changes that we see in technology and business. And I think these changes start to have an effect that is starting to accelerate the pace of change in healthcare.

Things available online are still not nearly caught up with some industries, but it slowly starting to pick up the pace.

What is the future of nursing in your opinion?

Interesting question. There always discussions around scopes of practice within the medical profession, everyone is sort of fighting for the old “access to power” in medicine.

For me the real value is the proximity and trust the nurses have with patients. The more we focus on enhancing that, the more we help guide patients through healthcare, monitor them in their home and community, work in health promotion and prevention, the more we’ll have and expanding role. For me it’s really important that we focus on staying close to the patient and not dividing “pieces of care”. It is indeed a specialty of the non-specialist, but the diverse skills that we have to incorporate in our practice makes the profession very interesting to me.

Speaking of social media, what is missing for nurses?

The comfort level of trying out new things and applying them is missing. Nurses are still waiting to be shown the best solutions versus picking up different avenues and trying to use online resources for patient education. Of course, it’s a big challenge in terms of time, especially for average registered nurses. But in hospitals there are nursing educators, administrators and professors who should explore these opportunities.

Plus, we have been used to doing things behind closed doors and in protection, so there are a number of trials done in closed communities and hospitals, which benefit a limited number of healthcare professionals. We fail to mirror the methodology that, for example, someone working on IT solutions are using: they develop a peace of code and then share it for others to expand on that work.

What value do you see in online projects and initiatives for nurses?

What is really important is the offline/online “space”. The majority of people connected on social media have an offline relationship to start with. There are very few communities that formed online only. I’d want to see works and initiatives that are blending and expanding relationships that exist offline and help people find other individuals that work on similar healthcare topics to collaborate immediately. And not wait for that once-a-year conference to start working together.

It has been interesting to keep an eye on Connecting Nurses, for example. The authenticity of the stories and videos has had a strong effect: especially seeing some of the local settings of where the innovations are taking place. There is a level of trust that is being established when people can listen to individual stories first hand.

It’s also interesting the way that this content gets received by nursing professors, leaders and teachers that are looking for information to demonstrate initiatives. The Connecting Nurses videos are well produced and are pushing an innovation agenda. I like the idea of working interstitially to connect different things that are happening and not necessarily to generate unique kind of expertise, as Connecting Nurses does.

What are the online resources you yourself use the most?

Probably podcasts. What got me interested in technology was being able to learn when I did other things. It started when I was having a job driving 8 hours per day to pick up golf balls… so I was listening to lectures.

And when I’m asked to talk to nurses about online resources I try to talk about digital tools in general and not social media only. Getting a Facebook or Twitter is not necessarily going to be of any use. It’s about accelerating the work that you are doing and not about having another account.

I really encourage nurses to use digital tools because if we are accelerating the work we care about, there is always going to be an interest and a value in that.

What we really see in the adoption of social media and youtube type of platforms is the interest. People keep going there because they are able to connect with others both offline and online and get to the purposes that interest us and are practical.

Of course, “digital” doesn’t always mean “better”, sometimes the “offline” is more beneficial. I’m very much about balancing the two”.

Visit Rob Fraser’s website and follow him on Twitter !

“Save our mothers” updates from Nigeria

“Save our mothers” is one of the first projects selected by the WeObservatory. Nurse Ibe Chinomso and her Traffina Foundation have since gone a long way from conducting basic educational campaigns to launching now the “Clean Birth Kits” initiative. With the support from the WeObservatory and other partners the  Traffina Foundation is able to provide free delivery kits containing sterile instruments that women require at childbirth.

The Traffina Foundation is also actively working now with the Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Programme and CALL TO ACTIONlaunching a “Call to Action ” to improve maternal health situation in Nigeria.

Ibe Chinomso was recently invited to talk about  Traffina Foundation’s activities and present the Clean Birth Kits at the National Newborn Health Conference in Abuja, Nigeria that took place this past October.  conf 2




Crowd translation network for Ebola outbreak

UniversalDoctor has launched a non-profit initiative for the Ebola outbreak: Translation4Outbreaks.

Translations 4 Outbreaks is a crowd-translation platform to translate Ebola information for patients and medical personnel into as many languages as possible. The platform harnesses the language skills of people from across the world (the ‘crowd’) by making it easy for them to help translate important healthcare and outbreak information into different languages.

The content of the Ebola messages on the platform comes from different public health authorities (CDC, MSF etc) who provide credible information on Ebola. All translations will be offered as free PDFs on the website for anyone to download and use.

Applications are accepted from people all over the world to help with this crowd-translation effort so if you would be interested in helping, spread the word !

Read recent news article about Translations 4 Outbreaks here.

Diabetes explained to children by TEO the Duckling

It is never easy to speak to children about a disease. Especially when this disease makes them feel very different from all the other children, as is the case with diabetes.

Norma Grau, a nurse from Barcelona, has written a story for diabetic children – Teo the Duckling –  that would help them learn in an easy and educative way that they mustn’t feel different or ashamed  for being diabetic. Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 6.01.02 PM“Children must incorporate the illness into their daily life, but it is not easy at first. Various vital infancy stages have to be taken into account when helping them with the educational therapy. At the age of 4-6 years old they may feel different from their colleagues and friends, especially when doing check-ups as well as giving themselves insulin dose injections. To include the illness into their daily life activities plus avoiding stigmatization have been the key to develop our project”, says Norma Grau.

The nurse also had the story superbly illustrated by her colleague, Cristina Serrat Gómez, making it very appealing to children.

This story was  shared for the first via Care Challenge byScreen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.37.24 AM Norma Grau and was then selected both by Connecting Nurses and the WeObservatory. Here at the WeObservatory we are planning to help the nurse further develop her idea : during 2014/2015 we will contribute to the creation of another story  customized for girls. We also plan to create an animated version of the stories. We will keep you updated on this project through our blog.

The story currently exists in three languages.

Click to access the PDF versions : English, Castellano and Catalán.

More about the virtual nurse, optimizing treatment adherence.

VIH-TAVIE™ – computer sessions – was created in order to enable people living with HIV to incorporate the therapeutic regimen into their daily routine, to cope with the side effects of medication, to handle situations or circumstances that might interfere with medication intake, to interact with health professionals, and to mobilize social support. The VIH-TAVIE™ intervention consists of four computer sessions each 20-30 minutes long, in which the user interacts with an animated “virtual” nurse (in French or English). The nurse guides the individual through a process of learning about the aptitudes required to optimize treatment adherence.

In 2012 VIH-TAVIE participated in Care Challenge and was selected by Connecting Nurses for a promotional support. More details on the Care Challenge website.  A year later it was also selected by the WeObservatory for a partnership : thus a promotional collaboration is established and the WeObservatory is engaging in adapting the videos and interactive sessions for French-speaking communities, especially in Africa , to facilitate the monitoring of HIV patients undergoing HAART. More information on the WeO website.

The official website and the blog for the TAVIE projects:

Telehealth usability amongst elderly, a WeObservatory selected project

If you are interested in learning about technology acceptance in general, we highly recommend that you take a look at this project.

A key objective of a WeObservatory project “Telehealth and Elderly” by Michael Dino, Assistant Research Director at Our Lady of Fatima University, Valenzuela City, Philippines, is to understand technology-acceptance among the elderly and help them gain independence within the healthcare system.
This project was firstly published online on the Care Challenge platform and gained visibility through the video made by Connected Nurses as means to support the project. Consequently “Telehealth and Elderly” was chosen by the WeObservatory and continues to evolve through this partnership. Not only does Michael Dino get the opportunity to present his project at many international conferences – one of the latest was during the Digital Health Care Week in Singapore in October 2013 – but he is also planning to expand his research to specific populations, starting an “Elderly Women and TeleHealth” research project, in liaison with the WeObservatory’s special focus: improving the use of telemedicine services for women.

For more details, check out the research abstract here.
Take a look at Michael Dino’s initial project as posted on Care Challenge and portraid in the video: