“Virtual Nurse”, a promotional and educational portal for health at the service of people

15 Jun

Marc Fortes

Stemming from the necessity to be able to access accurate health information, qualified and within reach of everyone, the Official Nurse’s College of Barcelona (COIB), launched the portal, Infermera virtual (virtual Nurse) in 2005 (in Twitter, @infermeria), for the promotion and education of health.

The almost 3000 pages of content that it contains aims to empower people in taking decisions about their own health while at the same time create a healthier society and achieve a more sustainable healthcare.

Citizens can find all this content adapted in formats such as video, infographs and health tutorials which make both the access and understanding of the information easier.

Additionally, Infermera virtual is a global professional project with the view of it becoming a working tool for nurses and other health professionals in the social area or that of education. The contents, which enable nursing knowledge on each of the health contexts to be shared in an enjoyable and rapid way, become links that allow professionals to prescribe or recommend this information directly to the people they attend, via email or sharing it via social networks.

To generate the content, there are structural, educational and scientific revision processes which are updated annually. The most important piece in the whole puzzle is undoubtedly the more than 70 authors and collaborators who generate all this content.

The Infermera virtual project is based on the 8 daily life activities, what we call “requirements that people must satisfy, in a specific time frame, for their own benefit with the aim of maintaining life, a healthy lifestyle, a continuous personal development and the greatest degree of wellbeing and quality of life possible”, and they are: to breathe, move, eliminate, avoid dangers, sleep, communicate with others, work and enjoy oneself, and eat and drink.

On the other hand, the units of content are organised in two large blocks which we call “life situations” and “health problems” which enable the other  files to be organised as “What you need to know”.

Among the health problems, one can find files ranging from an explanation of cancer to that about having a temperature, for example.

The portal is continuously growing and being improved and is also adapted to the circumstances of the changing context. This is why all the certified and personal content has been offered for more than a year via a free mobile application available both for Android and iOs.

A citizen can find all this content adapted in video formats, infographs and health tutorials which facilitate both the access to and the understanding of information. QR Codes can also be scanned using the application and notifications received related to health. On the other hand, health professionals can prescribe this content via a mobile phone or tablet.

One of the highlights of the application’s menu is the access to the more than  110 tutorials via ‘Look after your health’, aimed at clarifying doubts and obtaining more information about health problems, healthy life styles, life situations and aspects related to the different stages of life. Entering in ‘Files’, nurses and all health professionals can access the complete files created by nurses and other expert authors. Professionals also have direct access to consult on the structure and function of the human body.

If you are a user of the Metropolitan Transport of Barcelona, you may have seen the health advice in video format which is offered in collaboration with virtual Infermera in some of the metro stations and some Barcelona city buses.

The health advice comes by way of a friendly family of extra-terrestrials that have come to our planet unintentionally, the Bonsu Family, and this allows such diverse subjects as bullying at school to sun protection to be dealt with in less than 16 seconds.

Post written by Marc Fortes (@marcfortes).