Repeated print-outs can give rise to new innovations. Diabetes nurse Josefine Bjärnlycke believed that the certificates people with diabetes need to have on foreign trips, to prove they need insulin and others aids, should be smarter. Together with Innovation Skåne, she developed a new durable travel certificate that is easy to carry and can provide vital information.
Josefine Bjärnlycke is a diabetes nurse at the Skåne University Hospital in Malmö and meets patients with diabetes on a daily basis. Especially during the holiday season many patients with diabetes contact the healthcare services because they need a travel certificate.
– Patients with diabetes receiving insulin treatment need to have a medical certificate confirming that they have insulin, syringes, an insulin pump and an insulin pen when traveling, explains Josefine.
The travel certificate commonly used at Josefine’s workplace is an A4 sized printed one, printed on a regular printer.
– The certificates have no limited period of validity but they quickly fade and become illegible, which means patients need a new certificate for almost every trip they make. This means additional work for the patients as well as the healthcare staff, says Josefine.
Josefine has met a large number of patients with diabetes over the years, but it was during one particular patient meeting that the idea took shape.
– I remember quite well how I got the idea. It was in a meeting with a patient who had a taste for adventure and who frequently traveled abroad. I had written travel certificates for the patient several times before and I was writing yet another one. This time the patient asked why there were no certificates that were more hard-wearing, and I thought there must be a better way of doing this, says Josefine.
Josefine began to sketch a travel certificate the size of a driver’s license, laminated and which could easily fit in a wallet or a pocket.
When Josefine got in touch with Innovation Skåne and talked about her idea, a successful collaboration developed.
– Without Innovation Skåne’s help the idea would not have become reality. Not least, they have helped finding a business partner for the idea to put it on the market, says Josefine.
The partner, Scantags AB, develops and produces the travel certificate. It is now also possible to include In Case of Emergency information on the same card as the travel certificate via a QR code. The care staff are responsible for the medical certificate, but patients may, provided they accept responsibility for it, enter information themselves about contact persons, illness, medicines and other information that may be essential in an emergency situation.
The card has been tested and evaluated at five diabetes clinics in Skåne with good results.
– My ambition is that this travel certificate becomes the standard for use in Sweden, or perhaps even beyond our borders. It makes it easier for the many diabetes patients receiving insulin treatment but also helps to reduce duplication of the work in healthcare, says Josefine.
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