About this good practice
An increasing number of patients per general practitioner, implementation of new clinical tasks and technologies and further demographic developments, makes it important to enable general practice to develop and provide general practitioners access to new diagnostic methods and smart solutions. Difficulties in recruiting new general practitioners to rural areas is also addressed.
The lab provides physical test facilities that simulates the conditions in general practice clinics and offers the necessary resources to facilitate projects from SMEs and researchers during the testing phase. Situated next to a general practice clinic, it ensures easier access to patients and favorable conditions to achieve consent for participation in tests and observations for researchers and SMEs. By moving the testing phase out of regular general practice, the issue of radical development initiatives being difficult to execute is addressed, and daily work in the clinic is disrupted as little as possible ahead of implementation. Patient collaboration, organizing and managing clinical tasks, testing and integration of technical aids such as artificial intelligence are examples of topics projected to be explored in the lab.
Enabling SMEs and researchers to work in a Living Lab and develop General Practice benefits general practitioners and their patients.
The Living Lab provides evidence that a vibrant environment for research and innovation can also be situated in a rural area.
Collaboration between North Denmark Region, covering establishment and rent, Aalborg University, providing i.a. IT support, and Research Unit for General Practice, covering furnishment and the expenses for the part-time GP and partly the full-time nurse who is also funded through research funding.
Evidence of success
The potential has not been fully explored due to Covid19.
However, it is successful in the ability to recruit test persons for research and test projects e.g., of new technology - a key measure for success. Also, the funding for day-to-day operations and staff is crucial for the viability. Lastly, dissemination of the concept. Another evidence of success is the recruitment of GPs to rural areas with the facilities for professional development e.g., training junior doctors in using new technology
Potential for learning or transfer
Providing a Living Lab for General Practice is a new and groundbreaking approach to make it easier for SMEs to test new technology and researchers to perform research in General Practice and has consequently not been transferred. However, the demographic factors are an overall European concern, and taking action to meet the future workload, and to ease the implementation of new clinical tasks and technologies in General Practice, can benefit general practitioners and hence their patients in other parts of Europe.
Accelerating the test and development of new products and technology by a Living Lab approach gives SMEs invaluable access to user-feedback and real-life settings.
Placing research and innovation facilities in a rural area, shows that it is possible to make it more attractive for GPs to settle and run General Practice in these areas and will potentially meet some of the recruiting problems here.