Advanced Home Healthcare Environment

You have reached the "start page" of a research program that focuses on the applicability of new information technology within a specific part of the health care sector; home based care and other forms of healthcare that are not conducted within hospital walls (such as mobile/ambulatory care).

There is an increasing interest in finding ways of shifting health care resources from high cost hospitals into morecost-effective forms while still preserving, or even increasing, quality of care. Many patient groups are also getting more informed and involved in their own care. The research tries to support these trends.

Several "parallel tracks"

Our approach to this research field is to work along several parallel "tracks" that later will merge in different ways. The first "track" focuses on the home based healthcare environment and the second focuses on possibly interesting technologies to be used to support health care in this environment. We believe that several "tracks" are necessary in order to find the best solutions.

1. Investigation of needs

To be able to understand the needs of new technology and IT-support within home health care, we are investigating way of working and information flow within and between hospital-based home care (Lasarettsansluten Hemsjukvård, LAH), primary health care and community home health care in the region (County Council of Östergötland). An article based on the first findings has been submitted to Medinfo 2001.

2. Investigation of technology: diabetes pilot application

In order to get practical experience from home based care, distributed applications, usability and trust issues we are developing a pilot application for diabetes care. We are basing the application on different Java technologies, and will try to use several different terminals for communication (phone,PC, PDA etc). The development is done as an Open Source project under the LGPL-licence and it can be monitored here at the project website. A first release of the software is planned to June 9, 2001.

3. Investigation of technology: heart- and lung-patient monitoring pilot application

As a result of the needs found in track 1 (Investigation of needs) we have started a prestudy of a patient monitoring application to be used in home environments. The exact details are not specified as of this writing, but we are investigating the use of an OSGi-based home gateway and portable instruments monitoring heart rate, breathing, oxygen saturation, blood pressure etc. A wireless solution is also investigated.

The projects are currently part of the e-Society programme:

Other starting points:
  • The WikiMed tool is used for documentation of findings, interesting related material and some project documentation (constantly under construction.)
  • A more detailed description of the research in Linköping

  • The Medical Informatics division of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Linköping University is maintaining this site.
    Contact: erik.sundvall@imt.liu.se
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