Background: Chronic diseases require most of the resources in todays healthcare systems. Healthcare systems, as such, are thus not sustainable in the long term. Solutions to this problem are needed and a lot of research is focused on finding new approaches to more sustainable healthcare systems. Different countries tackle the problem in their own ways. Mostly, they are reducing expenses and cutting costs. Ehealth holds great promises as it seems to have great potential for changing healthcare systems. But if such change is to be successfully managed, great mind shifts are needed with people. Healthcare systems are managed by people to serve people. Unfortunatelly, this is not really the case. Healthcare systems are managed by the ones who manage the budget. People will be treated as long as there is a budget that will cover the treatment. The motivation of doctors is not oriented towards having as little work as possible which means more healthy people, but to have as much patients as possible. The healthcare system becomes unsustainable in these circumstances. The patient can not trust such a healthcare system. He needs to become more educated and more aware of his condition in order to help himself to become empowered. The patient needs to see data about his health in order to start thinking about new decisions in life that can lead to change in his behaviour. Objective: We have approached the problem of empowering patients with chronic diseases from a biological, psychological, sociological and technical viewpoint. We want to support the patients care process while they are at the comfort of their homes. At the same time we want to show them their health related data. Patients, doctors and care managers can see the same data. We want patients to be conformant to the care plan prescribed for them. We want to develop extensible technology to support even more new interventions for different chronic diseases. We want the technology to enable semantic interoperability with other systems. Methods: We have collaborated with doctors in order to model the care plans for different chronic diseases. Our approach was based on BPMN2.0. We used the OpenEHR methodology in order to model clinical knowledge so that semantic interoperability can be achieved and also long term sustainability of such technology. We used the internet, including mobile technology, in order to support patient in any location. Results: We have successfully developed a platform that enabled rapid development of support for new chronic diseases. We developed tools for patients to use while at home in order to see their health data and also the interpretation of the data. We enabled communication with doctors and care managers and also education is supported. Our approach to PHR and EHR is a hybrid approach. We have several clinical trials running in which this platform is used. Conclusions: We believe our approach to empowering patients with chronic diseases is a combined approach of biological, psychological, sociological and technological aspects of empowerment and thus a correct approach.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|