Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Patient care: a page out of the e-assistant book

08.01.2008
European and Turkish doctors and technicians are perfecting a medical support system that can track patients’ real-time vital signs, link those to patient medical history, and, crucially, provide the latest clinical guidelines for patient care. Better yet, it can alert doctors when necessary. It’s not a digital doctor, but it’s getting there.

It is called Saphire, and it is an Intelligent Clinical Decision Support System (ICDSS) offering a range of services that combines scattered information stored in different systems into a new, more powerful application.

It will mean better, and cheaper, medical care. Finally.

Information technology has long promised to improve healthcare by assigning a scarce resource, a doctor’s time, wherever and whenever it is needed, but so far it has struggled to deliver on the promises.

The problem is that patients’ records, for example, are often stored on different platforms in various formats. Saphire cracks that problem by converting diverse formats into one that can be combined with other data. In the process, the team initially used ontology mapping to mediate semantically between one set of defined pieces of information and another set.

“Later on, we noticed that XSLT mapping can also perform some of the conversions adequately in much shorter time,” remarks Mehmet Olduz, a researcher with Saphire. “So, the team included XSLT mapping ability as well as ontology mapping which has given a considerable performance improvement to the system.”

XSLT converts one type of XML, the language of Web 2.0, to another type. The upshot is more effective translation with less work. Using techniques like these can translate medical records into a standard format and integrate them with patients’ real-time vital signs -a huge advance.

The team also initially used web services to access patient Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR). But they finally switched to a standard called Healthcare Cross-Enterprise Clinical Document Sharing (IHE-XDS) instead. It is a widely accepted practice by the industry, and also adopted by many countries for implementing their national healthcare networks.

Clinical decisions, stat

But that is not the really clever bit. “I think what makes Saphire unique is the semi-automatic deployment of clinical guidelines to healthcare institutes,” says Olduz. Clinical guidelines are the distilled wisdom of medical research and doctors’ experience and they identify the most reasonable response in specific circumstances.

For example, percutaneous coronary infusion (PCI) –inserting a balloon into a blocked artery to re-establish blood flow– is the recommended procedure for STEMI, a particular kind of heart attack, according to the Australian medical association.

If a patient presents late to a medical centre without PCI, the guidelines state it is better to transfer a patient to a hospital with PCI if it takes less than two hours to get there. If it takes more, it is better to treat immediately using whatever method available at hand, typically drug-stimulated fibrinolysis, which thins blood clots.

That is just one simple example. There are literally thousands of guidelines for the multitude of emergency conditions a doctor can face. And they change, all the time, as new information refines established therapies. It is essential information for effective treatment, but right now it relies on a doctor’s knowledge and experience.

But with Saphire, that knowledge is updated regularly, matched against a patient’s real symptoms and vital signs, and at the doctors’ fingertips via sms, pager, email, web browser or PDA whenever doctors’ need it or an emergency occurs. It is unique to Saphire.

“There had been efforts to computerise the guidelines and automatically execute them, for example Guideline Interchange Format (GLIF),” explains Olduz. But these attempts mainly focused on sharing of guidelines and had to be manually deployed to the computer or device. The European Funded Saphire solves this, suggests Olduz.

The team have finished the technical implementation and now they will go forward with the pilots, one in the hospital and one at home. Doctors are excited that it may mean certain patients can be transferred to regular wards sooner, freeing beds in critical care units.

The system will also provide an enormous boost to the training of young doctors and it should minimise the risk of medical errors. And it will mean a far better level of at home care, too.

Saphire also presents a commercial opportunity. The team will seek to commercialise the platform for use in hospitals throughout the world.

But Saphire, which recently attended the e-Challenges 2007 event in The Netherlands, will also help SMEs seeking to enter the medical sensor market. “It aims to facilitate SME participation [in] healthcare network infrastructure development efforts by providing the necessary interoperability platform for wireless medical sensor data and medical information systems,” notes Olduz.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/89306

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Snake-inspired robot uses kirigami to move
22.02.2018 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht Camera technology in vehicles: Low-latency image data compression
22.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>