Tech + Health | Telemedicine prospects - Pt 2
The last time, I promised to speak to technology that could transform Jamaica into a country with the most comprehensive health-information database bringing us right where we need to be to offer telemedicine.
My visit to Health Information Management Systems Conference in Orlando, Florida (HIMSS17), led me to the discovery of DynoSense Corp, which specialises in telehealth and remote care management.
HIMSS17 is the gold standard for bringing together the best offerings in health-information technology, and this year did not disappoint.
What DynoSense offers is the last link needed for making telemedicine a reality in a comprehensive and user-friendly way.
The good thing about it is that the technology can be integrated with University Hospital of the West Indies Health Information Management System, other health platforms that we now use, fitness trackers, and glucose monitors.
My enthusiasm for DynoSense is based on the fact that it has products that can monitor your body's functions remotely and an app that can feed information to your doctor and caregiver.
This app is particularly easy to manage so anyone can use it and be able to monitor their health daily and do comparisons weekly, monthly, and even yearly.
One of the products allows you to breathe normally through a sensor and, in less than one minute, it provides 15 health metrics, including electrocardiogram, heart rate, heart rate variability, oral temperature, blood oxygen saturation, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, arterial stiffness index, atrial fibrillation, atrial tachycardia, atrioventricular, premature ventricular contraction, premature atrial contraction, and galvanic skin response.
In addition, a smart composite scale provides readings on weight, body mass index, basal metabolic rate, body fat, visceral fat, bone density, muscle mass, and body water once the user steps on it barefooted.
The technology also offers diagnosis management of issues including diabetes, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, activities of daily living, smoking cessation and substance abuse.
There is a daily monitoring and alert system, interactive video and voice calling that can accommodate three users at once and messaging.
The technology also has the capacity to automatically update the National Patient Records when that comes on stream.
Can you imagine getting real-time health information that can facilitate proactive care and immediate diagnosis? This could significantly impact patient management, leading to more positive health outcomes while reducing costs. We must embrace this technology that can move our health sector and economy forward.
Consider this: "Healthcare providers need to think of virtual care as a means to improve patient access and provider efficiency ... Telehealth is rapidly evolving beyond urgent care and is increasingly used for follow up visits and helping chronically ill patients connect with their doctor online..."
- Richard Bakalar, KPMG Global Healthcare Center of Excellence.
Jamaica ready for telemedicine
n Telehealth is exactly what Jamaica needs to complete the circle and complement the existing components which are already in place. These include:
n Skilled medical professionals. We have some of the best in the world.
n An electronic adjudication system for health insurance. Currently, we have the only such adjudication system in the Caribbean and it is a completely Jamaican product.
n Pharmacy information management system. Again, we have one of the best systems in the English-speaking Caribbean which is linked with the insurance companies for claims adjudication.
n Drug codes. We have the Caribbean Drug codes which, again, is a uniquely and copyrighted Jamaican product. This allows us to carefully monitor and track drugs being prescribed and used by pharmacists and medical professionals while ensuring that the patient is getting the correct prescription at the right amount.
n Procedure and diagnostic codes. We have standardised medical reference codes among health-care providers which facilitate having a comprehensive national patient record.
n National Patient Records. The components already exist for this fully digital footprint of a patient's encounter at any point of the health-care system - private or public.
n Medical Practice Management System. Facilitates digitisation of all aspects of a doctor's office including appointment setting and monitoring of patients.