Understanding how healthcare is being transformed by IT is key to the improvement of medical standards and reduction of cost. The synergy between computer technology and medical services allows fascinating new possibilities for benefit in areas such as continuing care, chronic disease treatment and home monitoring, bringing with it the promise of essential changes in existing models of care delivery and system performance. This book presents the current and future trends in the transformation of healthcare services in the Information Society Era and is of great relevance to informatics professions, clinical managers and all clinicians using these new technologies as part of their practice.
Information Technology Solutions for Healthcare addresses the priorities within international informatics and presents a thorough survey of the most promising e-health technologies, including internet-enhanced healthcare services and mobile technology via modern wireless technologies. It is illustrated with case reports identifying real applications of the techniques and focused on providing an integrated overview of e-health and medical, sociological and technical aspects of the application of e-health technologies.
Chapter 1, Evolution of IT-enhanced Healthcare: from Telemedicine to e-Health, introduces the concept of telemedicine, including definitions and requirements of telemedical systems. The evolution of contemporary telemedical systems and challenges faced by future technologies are also shown. Additionally, this chapter reviews speciality-specific applications, including formal and legal aspects of telemedicine as well as its acceptance among users. An important item is the cost/benefit analysis of telemedical services. Chapter 2, Access Technologies in Telecare, overviews access telecommunication technologies. Basic requirements for such communications are considered, both in the hospital-to-patient scenario and the hospital-to-hospital scenario. The available and emerging solutions are also briefly presented. Chapter 3, Internet Technologies in Medical Systems, presents the requirements and architectures of Internet-based medical systems, with focus on Internet telemedical services, Web services and portal technologies. The next-generation point-of-care information systems are also described and the shift in the methodology associated with medical systems to suit new software architectures is analyzed. As a case study, the TELEDICOM system for collaborative teleradiology is presented. Chapter 4, Security and safety of Telemedical Systems, describes the requirements related to this important area, analyzing them in the context of legal acts affecting the security of e-medical systems. Subsequently, security system architecture modelling and techniques for securing e-medical systems are described. Chapter 5, Wireless systems in e-Health, focuses on modern wireless technologies. Security aspects and wireless interference issues are discussed. Wireless hospital and telecare applications are also described and the requirements for mobile access from PDA devices to medical databases are considered in more detail. As a case study, a wireless emergency system is presented. Chapter 6, Relevance of Terminological Standards and Services in Telemedicine, describes medical terminology standardization on several levels of granularity and overviews existing classifications and momenclatures. As a case study, this chapter presents the TOSCA Project dedicated to establishing a common terminology. Chapter 7, Electronic Health Records, describes the progress in constructing a common set of data structures contained in medical records and reports on the main standardization efforts in this area. The Electronic Patient Record has fundamental significance for the implementation of medical information systems and telemedical applications. Chapter 8, Decision Support Systems in Medicine, covers knowledge-based and expert systems which support physicians in making medical decisions by providing interactive tools. A classification of such systems is presented and their internal structures and architectures are evaluated. Several classes of expert systems are described and compared. Chapter 9, Health Telematics Networks, briefly describes the requirements and architecture of telematics networks and the organizational models for such networks. It also overviewes e-health network services available over the Internet. Chapter 10, IT Applications for Remote Testing of Hearing, presents innovative telemedical systems for sensory self-diagnostics over the Internet. The preconditions and structures of successful nationwide programs based on these systems are also described. Chapter 11, Model of chronic care enabled with information technology, defines the scope of the problem, describing Web-based and telemonitoring solutions as the most commonly used technologies in the area. Subsequently,