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 Putting food-safety detection in the hands of consumers
15.11.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

nachricht Next stop Morocco: EU partners test innovative space robotics technologies in the Sahara desert
09.11.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>