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First major grant for corona research in the primary healthcare system

Researchers from Aarhus University and the Research Unit for General Practice in Aarhus will work together with colleagues and collaborative partners in the industry to explore how virtual GP consultations can be improved as part of the fight against the coronavirus. The project is supported with DKK 4.3 million from the Innovation Fund Denmark.

2020.04.27 | Lone Niedziella, FEAP, og Sabina Bjerre Hansen

Per Kallestrup (t.l.) and Ulrik Bak Kirk

Per Kallestrup (t.l.) and Ulrik Bak Kirk receive million grant from The Innovation Fund Denmark to research into virtual medical consultations. Photo: Lars Kruse/AU & private.

The Innovation Fund Denmark has just granted DKK 4.3 million to research into different aspects of video consultations in general practice – a project which is headed by Professor Per Kallestrup and Project Coordinator Ulrik Bak Kirk. The grant is the first major investment in corona-related research in the primary healthcare sector.

Pandemic has introduced video consultation

Seemingly overnight, the corona pandemic has introduced the virtual waiting room and video consultation in general practice via the “Min læge” (My GP) app, with the intention being to limit the virus spreading. But how do the general practitioner and the patient prepare best for a virtual consultation? Is it possible for the GP to examine the symptoms adequately remotely? And what about the new technology’s security? These are just some of the questions which the project will help to clarify during its expected duration until spring 2021.

“The new grant gives the whole general practice area a welcome boost. It provides us with some opportunities, including investigating how the video consultations that have already been introduced in general practice due to COVID-19 affect the relationship between doctor and patient. Also, we’ll gain knowledge about where we should focus so we can do things even better,” says Per Kallestrup, who is professor at the Department of Public Health at Aarhus University, head of the Research Unit for General Practice, and a general practitioner in the town of Skødstrup, outside Aarhus.

Partnership may facilitate digitalisation

The project will be carried out in a close collaboration with the research units for general practice at the universities in Aalborg, Odense and Copenhagen, and with the projects other partners, who are: The Danish Society for Patient Safety; The European Society for Quality and Safety in Family Practice (EQuiP); CopingMindsApS; and the software development company Trifork Public.

“We believe that a broad public-private partnership between general practitioners, researchers, companies and stakeholders in civil society can facilitate the digitisation of general practice in the future. The new grant leaves a strong digital healthcare imprint on the general practice research map," says Ulrik Bak Kirk, head of the Digital Health initiative at the Research Unit for General Practice in Aarhus.

The grant totals DKK 4,311,632 and is made from the Grand Solutions pool under the Innovation Fund Denmark.


Project Coordinator Ulrik Bak Kirk
The Research Unit for General Practice
Mobile: (+45) 28 86 48 63
Email: ubk@ph.au.dk

Professor Per Kallestrup
Aarhus University, Department of Public Health and
The Research Unit for General Practice
Mobile: (+45) 20 92 65 28
Email: per.kallestrup@ph.au.dk

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