Wednesday, September 18, 2013

HAT - role of the medical engineer

The role of medical engineers is growing in the Netherlands, this varies from clinical informatics, clinical physics, to technical medicine. According to the presenters at the HAT the exact placement and positioning of these engineers is not yet fully clear. However, it is generally accepted that these medical engineers are crucial in modern day healthcare. The important role is to implement products into medical practice which requires knowledge of the whole clinical process in which the new product should be integrated. Important steps and issues for the medical engineer are:
- problem definition
   - Understand what clinicians do and why they do it.
- model optimization
- from model to personalization
   - model uncertainty
- model corroboration
   - models choice versus expert choice
- practical implementation

HAT 2013 - Diabeter

Diabeter has developed seperate institutions for diabetes type 1 patients. One of the main reasons for developing these new institutions was the rigidness of hospitals when implementing dedicated IT systems to treat disease oriented populations not targeted at the local region of the hospital.

In the diabeter centers everything is centralized around technology IT with a high level of medical specialization. Because the patients are not close to the hospital, IT infrastructure is also very important for distance communication with the patient (tele-medicine).

Example innovation: 
Patients are provided with a USB enabled blood sugar measurement device which is coupled to the computer by the patient at home and the data is transferred to the hospital. Users of this USB device are more inclined to often upload their data and include questions about their data and thus are more engaged in their own clinical process.

They developed a very dedicated, specialized electronic patient record system in which analysis of collected patient data, feedback to the patient, etc is automated. 

SSL is used to safeguard the security of the communication as well as avoiding the sending of the identifying information of a patient.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Infographic Health Informatics

This infographics by the University of Illinois at Chicago gives details on what Health Informatics is and which role it will play in healthcare in the future. They state that the future is in desperate need of a large number of health IT professionals that will help to keep the healthcare system affordable.
This link will give you access to the original on the website of the University of Illinois: