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 Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Inactivate vaccines faster and more effectively using electron beams

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

New study maps space dust in 3-D

23.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Tracing aromatic molecules in the early universe

23.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>