Collaborative Multimedia Medical Technologies in the Management of Health Care
B.-E. Erlandson1 and N.-G. Holmer2
1 Medical Informatics and Engineering, University Hospital, S-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden
2 Biomedical Engineering, University Hospital of Lund, S- 221 85 Lund, Sweden
Telematics and Informatics in health care will change the opportunities how health care is
produced and delivered. This is a necessary prerequisite because the increasing demand of
care as well as the cost increase of health and social care. In the western counties, there will
also be a demand on availability, which implies that the information must be present when
needed. In Europe, the Commission has made a statement about “An Information Society for
All”. The vision is that the infrastructure must be enhanced and health care should be distance
independent. Multimedia medical technologies can give the basis for this vision.
The current study will investigate the possibilities of developing and improving the technical
prerequisites for diagnosing and analysing purposes as near as possible the patient, i.e.
outside the hospital or the primary health care centre. New technological solutions will give
the opportunity to deliver health care more efficient. One prerequisite, a health care net (e.g.
Sjunet) has been established in Sweden to which health care providers are connected.
Different areas that will be covered in the study are:
· Networking between biomedical engineering departments and informatics departments in a
region (or nation-wide) in order to utilise competence and even equipment.
· Co-ordination of roentgenological specialities between hospitals in Sweden.
· Develop support in neurosurgery between university hospital and other hospitals
· Oncological treatment methods and follow up of patients via distributed radiotherapy.
· Advanced home care, with secure handling of patient ID, in order to transfer measured
data directly to the electronic patient record.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
To our understanding, health care in the future will be built on knowledge networks.
Information will be fetched on that health care level, the specialist that is needed, from the
responsible physician or nurse, from primary care to university hospital or other sources,
where the ultimate expert knowledge for that specific disease can be found. Future telematic
applications will also give support both to the patient directly but also to the relatives. One
must also be aware of the very fact that science and best practice are changing during time,
new knowledge comes and old disappears.
The telematic applications that we deal with give support to patients or citizens who are
isolated or are delimited for professional care really needed. Telematics can diminish
geographical distances, in rural sparsely populated area as well as in consulting with
professionals on another continent. The competence is then available when and where needed
independent of geographical location, in Sweden or abroad.
Swedish Ministry Publication series, DS 2002:3. IT in Health Services of Tomorrow.