The specialised unit of the Neurology Service of Bellvitge Hospital and the Catalan ALS Foundation Miquel Valls have renewed for four more years their close collaboration, which began in 2009. Strengthening and improving comprehensive and multidisciplinary care for ALS patients continues to be the main goal of the cooperation agreement, which has one of its major novelties in the LinkELA platform and app for online patient care.
Psychosocial care for ALS patients is one of the Unit’s main fields. This care is provided by professionals from the Miquel Valls Foundation and is fully integrated into the daily work of the multidisciplinary group of the HUB’s Functional Motor Neurone Disease Unit (UFMM). The general director of the Miquel Valls Foundation, Esther Sellés, stresses that the agreement reinforces the value of a model of comprehensive care (medical, social and emotional -biopsychosocial-) "that is applicable to the whole territory and that responds to many of the needs of people suffering from the disease and their families".
One of the main axes of the collaboration between the two institutions is already being carried out with the LinkELA app-platform, which the Miquel Valls Foundation launched as a pilot experience at the end of 2020. Now, it is already being used by 44 patients and their families and carers.
As Dr Mònica Povedano, head of the UFMM, points out, "LinkELA enables continuity of care for patients, bringing tertiary or primary care closer to their homes". "LinkELA should help us to provide better care for people affected by ALS and their immediate environment," says Sellés. It will facilitate a closer monitoring of the patient, controlling the evolution of the symptoms in the different areas affected by the disease, and a faster reaction capacity when necessary.
, the new platform-application will also boost research thanks to the collected patient data. "We are aware that we are making an important technological leap forward in the patient evaluation, but we must never lose sight of the fact that face-to-face contact with the unit will continue to be essential," says Dr Povedano. Within the frame of the new agreement, the HUB and the Miquel Valls Foundation will join forces to extend the use of LinkELA, convinced that it is a key tool to improve the quality of life and extend the survival of ALS patients.