Start website main content

  • Centro di Ricerca Interdisciplinare Health Science
  • Ateneo

The numbers say it all: positive results for the first two years of Proximity Care. "Complex and very challenging project, which requires a cultural change at all levels," is the comment of Rector Sabina Nuti

Publication date: 14.06.2024
Proximity Care
Back to Sant'Anna Magazine

The halfway point of a project is by definition the time for taking stock, and what the numbers of Proximity Care tell us is decidedly positive.
The Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca, the Region of Tuscany with the Regional Department, the Azienda USL Toscana nord ovest, the Monasterio Foundation and the Unions of the Municipalities of Garfagnana, Media Valle and Versilia examined the results of the project and then presented them to a vast audience composed of all the realities involved: public administrators, representatives of the Third Sector, operational referents of the institutional partners, company structures and the coordinators of the general practitioners. A dutiful and founding sharing for the project's purposes: the construction of a healthcare model that, thanks to technology, connection and digitalisation, strengthens services, making them close to inland areas.

The numbers

The project identified the major areas of criticality, assessed the possibilities for action, checked the possibilities for remote action and the ways in which services could be made more accessible to citizens. There are 11 areas of action in the project, involving no less than 70 researchers and administrative staff divided into 18 interdisciplinary research teams coordinated by the School's professors. Twenty-three municipal administrations are involved, dozens and dozens of third sector subjects, numerous administrative and health authority structures are supporting the implementation of the project, the Institute for Oncological Prevention and Research, the Maria Eletta Martini Centre, the Monasterio Foundation, and three schools are involved.
These are just some of the 'numbers' that emerged in the comparison, although the most significant are well explained in the following table:

Cardiovascular screening in adolescence Students involved with second and third level investigations for cases found to be at risk 490
Training for the promotion of adolescent health and well-being - creation and dissemination of web apps Students and teachers

47 students

14 teachers

Travelling cancer screening Invited to the travelling screening 3000 inhabitants of the 19 municipalities involved
Emergency tele Helmets and crew number
Chronicity Patients - diabetes and heart failure - and general practitioners

112 patients- 80 in diabetes self-training

32 in telemedicine monitoring

20 doctors involved

Permanent population observatory Involved citizens 1,858 of which 219 were members of the in-depth panel

The future

The Proximity Care camper dedicated to screening is currently operating in an additional 14 municipalities in the Serchio Valley. There have been 29 days of activity with the aim of reaching the people invited to undergo the examinations envisaged in the protocol and to test the dermatoscopic examination proposed on an experimental basis. The project aims to facilitate access to the examinations in all the municipalities of the Serchio Valley by the end of 2024.

'This is a complex and very challenging project,' says Sabina Nuti, Rector of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa, 'which requires a cultural change at all levels, both on the part of citizens and of the institutions and operators involved. Our young researchers are working with great energy and passion, but in order for the change to really affect the health of the population, permanent structural and organisational innovations are needed: in this perspective, the next two years will be decisive for the success of the project."

The President of the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation, Marcello Bertocchini emphasised "the great overall effort that the Serchio Valley and Upper Versilia area is making. The public administrations, the Third Sector network, the central and territorial structures of the Azienda USL Toscana Nord Ovest (Tuscan North West Local Health Authority), general practitioners, and citizens are all committed to giving this experimental project continuity. I hope that the projects, of which it is already possible to measure the first results, can then permanently innovate the provision of health services, whose quality and proximity are necessary prerogatives to preserve the identity and presence of the inland territories."

Asl Director Maria Letizia Casani reiterated "the satisfaction for this path designed for the inhabitants of the inland areas, with important investments for projects that go in the direction of meeting the social-health needs of citizenship, also using the most advanced results of technological innovation. I emphasise the full involvement of the health authority, given that Proximity Care also contributes to guiding evaluations and programming choices aimed at improving health services, their proximity, and the organisation of the Serchio Valley's health centres, as confirmed by the recent new assignments and investments in hospitals and territorial structures".