Introduction • ICT has had a major impact in all aspects of health care and medicine in the past 20 years. • Main Uses • Administration inc. Patient records • Diagnosis • Monitoring and Treatment • Telemedicine • Health Economics
Admin & Patient records GP Level • Most now use limited IT based system • Carries only basic information • Treatment records tend to be still paper based - paper file of records • Fund holding has lead to need for more efficient and accountable systems
Admin & Patient records GP Level(cont.) • Paper based system very inefficient • records get lost, become indecipherable • difficult to analyse - trends, demographics, costs etc. • transfer of records slow - GP to GP; GP to Hospital
Admin & Patient records GP Level(cont.) • Many systems not compatible with each other • Need for standards • High cost of transferring legacy records • High cost of training staff • Need for funding
Admin & Patient records Hospitals etc • No overall strategy • Some small scale move to digital records • Most treatment records still paper based • very inefficient and costly • Large areas needed to simply store records, x-rays etc.
Admin & Patient records The (possible) future • Central patient record system for all UK • Accessed by all : GP - hospital • All information digitally delivered and stored - inc scans, x-rays etc. • Possible use of smart card for recent records
Diagnosis • Major Use -scanning • CAT - Computer Aid Tomography • MIR - Magnetic Image Resonance • PET - Proton Emission Tomography • Enhanced X-ray • Enhanced Ultra sound • All use sophisticated computer techniques to visualise deep body systems
Diagnosis Expert Systems • Some , mainly USA, moves towards computer aided diagnosis. • Computer asks series of questions which leads to possible diagnosis. • System limited at present - can miss serious illness
Monitoring and Treatment • Computer aided systems widely used for patient monitoring - heart rate, blood pressure, temperature etc. • Mainly intensive care but moving into general ward use • provide regular updates, can perform some analysis/early warning • frees up nurses/doctors for other duties
Monitoring and Treatment • Increasing use in treatment systems • Radiological/laser systems -dose delivery, positioning • IV drug pumps • Automatic monitoring of chemical levels levels e.g. insulin, with remedial delivery of drugs
Telemedicine • Use of computer/communications technology to deliver:- • remote diagnosis • remote monitoring • health education • Increasing use in rural areas (UK) • Widely used in third world and other remote areas
Health Economics • Controversial area • Uses computer technology to calculate costs of treatments • Can be (and is) used to decide if economically viable to treat patients • particularly elderly and terminally ill
Other Uses • Bar code tagging of patients • Bar coding of blood packs • Digital hearing aid technology • Muscular stimulation in paralysed patients • Bionics - computer aided artificial limbs etc.
Other Uses • Trend and pattern spotting - epidiomology • Drug design • Genetic Engineering • DNA analysis • 3D imaging in reconstructive surgery • Internet diagnosis • worrying trend, many charlatans and fraudsters
The Future • Increased use of computers in all aspects of health care • faster • more efficient (in some cases) • may help to fill skills gaps but • impersonal • can go wrong