The EmERGE project (about developing a mHealth platform for self-management of HIV and reducing face-to-face consultations), funded by the European Commission, has started its last 18 months. The European AIDS Treatment Group continues to play an active role in the project as a community partner and this contribution is led by Brian West.
A third Community Meeting for the partners was organised in Madrid on 7 November 2018. The objective of the meeting was to take stock on the previous phases of the project, the current functioning of the app as well as reflect on community involvement in the last phase of the project and beyond. The participants were Ferran Pujol and Michael Meulbroek from Checkpoint Barcelona (Spain), Sanja Belak and Tomislav Vurusic from Lux Vitae (Croatia), Patrick Reyntiens and Ria Koeck from Sensoa (Belgium), Ricardo Fernandes and Rosa Freitas from GAT (Portugal) and Luz Villarrubia from Terrence Higgins Trust (UK). Colleagues from the University of Brighton also participated.
The main outcomes of the meeting include:
- Decision on continuing evaluation of the use of the app at the five sites, this time reaching out to groups that were less well represented in the first sample;
- Easily accessible user guide videos will be developed in all five languages;
- A mapping exercise among community about the different standards of care (and number of required visits) in Europe will be conducted in early 2019;
- The group would like to see a community-led session on mHealth at EACS2019 in November 2019;
- The group will also reflect on how community can be involved in the work for sustainability of the project and the app;
- A Final Meeting, including different stakeholders will be organised in February-March 2020.
EmERGE, what is it about?
A mobile application, that allows people living with HIV to access their test results and ‘consult’ their physician remotely, has been developed and is currently being tested at five study sites. These clinical sites are located in Zagreb (Croatia), Antwerp (Belgium), Barcelona (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal) and Brighton (UK).
At each site, a community organisation is also involved in the project. Representatives of these organisations have formed a community group, which has been contributing to the co-design process of the mobile application, as well as the evaluation of its use through interviews and focus group discussions. This work has been conducted in collaboration with several project partners, but especially researchers from the University of Brighton.