Unique doc@HOME patient care concept contracted by the European Commission

Tallinn 24 January 2001Docobo Ltd., an international telehealth company, is partnering with the Commission of the European Communities to develop a unique monitoring programme called doc@HOME for cardiac patients while greatly reducing the cost of care. Doc@HOME combines a working set of different tools helping the patient to track and trend symptoms and to communicate this information to the health care provider.

Advertisement

Cardiac diseases are the major cause of death among the elderly population and employers, due to the temporary work disability caused by those diseases, spend billions of dollars yearly. The European Union has recognised the threat of rapidly increasing health care costs and is actively looking for ways to make disease management more efficient. According to the European Union Fifth Framework Programme, there is an urgent need to improve the health of European citizens, as well as the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of health promotion, medical technologies and interventions.

The pioneering doc@HOME concept includes the engagement of the home-based end-user; a data collection unit, called Docobo; the use of a public communication network; data warehousing with various tool sets; and the co-operation of the supervising medical personnel, utilising and controlling an unlimited number of Docobos via the intuitive work environment.

Doc@HOME acts as an integrating device for blood pressure, weight, glucose, and other patient data monitoring equipment through the collection, storage, and forwarding of the entered data. By upholding the principle of universal data exchange, doc@HOME can be used as a data collection and forwarding device for a wide range of upcoming and novel equipment for functional measurements. The device equally includes rudimentary electro-cardiogram (ECG) capability for arrhythmia and other similar case-related registrations.

Doc@HOME goes beyond the typical telecare system by providing feedback information from collected data both to doctors and patients, using a rule-based wrapper. Additionally, by collecting data from heterogeneous sources and converting them into valuable information, the doc@HOME system offers an educational as well as informational channel to the patient community.

Several studies have been started using the doc@HOME system that involve researchers and doctors in a variety of clinics. The new concept has found acceptance among treating physicians who are able to monitor their patients more closely, thus being able to apply better treatment. "Low cost, user-friendly, and simply understandable interactive monitoring will teach the patients how to regulate themselves", explained Ardo Reinsalu, CEO of Docobo Ltd. "This will give the patient a sense of control and allow medical personnel to stay ahead of acute heart failure or other critical conditions."

Because of the international scope of the project, medical trials will start in major European countries. Docobo Ltd. has already taken an active role in European telemedicine round tables. There are 9 partners in four countries who are involved in the project, therefore making it easily adaptable to other regions. The project is additionally financed by Docobo Ltd.

Docobo Ltd. constitutes a telemedicine company, founded by the Curonia Research Company, with the goal to take better care of citizens while greatly lowering the cost of health care. Docobo applies the unique doc@HOME concept, allowing patients to take an active role in the medical treatment process.


Leslie Versweyveld

[Medical IT News][Calendar][Virtual Medical Worlds Community][News on Advanced IT]