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Mobile health session at Med-e-Tel 2009 April 1, 2009

Posted by peterjmurray in conference, Europe, health informatics.

The afternoon has been split into four parallel sessions; I decided to try the ‘Mobile Health’ stream for the first part of the afternoon. The first talk is on mobile tele-work places for radiologists (www.radiology2.at or http://www.assteh.org), which uses home teleradiology workstations linked online via VPN networks, which show good diagnostic accuracy. The trial showed benefits in many areas, including flexible work patterns for radiologists, although lack of senior radiologists in hospital departments to report on images can be a limitation on development of systems. In a 21 month trial, 458 tests (CT, Xray, ultrasound, MRI) were used and transmitted over VPN for reporting.

The second session, on the role of telemedicine in long term care facilities in the USA, with Julie DiMartino reporting on a joint venture (Penn E-lert eICU) between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, Allentown, PA and University of Pennsylvania Health System. She described development of an audiovisual link between the eICU to the  long term acute care hospital setting, so that ICU specialists could also link to deliver critical care to the linked setting. Benefits to the long-term setting included reduced need to transfer patients to the ICU setting, reductions in common post-ICU complications, and reduced costs.

The third session is on integrated mobile and stationary nursing care information exchange in Austria. The speaker set the problem of older people at home or in nursing home needing nursing care, and who interacts intermittently with hospital care; this results in a great deal of paperwork as a result of the nursing care data and documentation. There are often insufficient communication processes, due to lack of joined up processes, or information being in multiple records. A pilot project between a nursing home and a hospital about 20km away compared status quo wherein a paper care summary from the nursing home was sent to the hospital, and vice versa, as against a new system in which a server links the care home and hospital, although due to legal restrictions, the data has to be re-entered at each end of the system, even though sent electronically. The project uses an IHE-compliant system for patient care data exchange. In the future, mobile care providers will be brought into the system, although problems exist at present. The main issues to be solved at present seem to be legal, rather than technical; data acquisition is reduced, the speaker claims, although problems also exist due to the mix of IHE-compliant and non-compliant systems that exist.



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