Computerising medical records, sharing patient data, connecting biomedical devices and objects, etc. The e-healthcare revolution is soon to transform the relationship between patients and healthcare professionals as we are gradually seeing how new technologies are transforming patient care.
The patient pathway: what about sharing healthcare data?
The way patients are currently treated means that they deal with many different specialists and treatment facilities until they are sent home. It is therefore essential to keep a record of the diagnosis, the treatment and the care to avoid ending up with clashing information: the same goes for patient data!
As hospitals are currently being digitised, a lot of information is now collected by different software programs and biomedical devices at different stages along the patient pathway. According to the industry analyst firm IDC, by 2025, the total volume of data which is analysed will be 8 times what it is today: 163 zettabytes.
The main issues with this data are ensuring its quality, guaranteeing it remains confidential and making it easier to share.
The first step: connected hospitals
On top of making sure different software programs communicate properly within healthcare facilities and facilitating the famous interoperability of IT systems, it has now become necessary to connect the systems which produce data together, for instance linking up Electronic Patient Records (EPRs) to biomedical devices.
Connecting biomedical devices (syringe pumps, ECGs, monitors) ensures that information is instantly available in the right patient file at the right time. The goal is guaranteeing the quality of the data and saving time for both care teams and patients alike
The second step: connected patients
Patient pathways also need monitoring once patients leave healthcare facilities. Connected patients are the next step after connected hospitals. New technologies, such as the IoMT, benefit patients and promote better treatment. To get accurate and reliable medical information, data will be automatically collected every day. Patients will be stakeholders in their own healthcare: better informed and therefore more demanding. This better way of collecting data via connected medical objects will really contribute to the development of telemedicine, MAD and HAD.
Lastly, this concept of connected healthcare provides many benefits for patients (autonomy, active participation in treatment, better relationships with physicians, etc.) just as it does for healthcare institutions (more thorough overview, lower costs, fewer errors and saving time, just to name a few).