MOEBIUS Mobile Extranet platform allows telemonitoring of patients with chronic disease

Luxembourg 10 April 2002In Switzerland, 15 percent of the population accounts for 90 percent of the expenditures in health care, according to Hans Fisher from MedGate. In close collaboration with the University Hospital of Basel and within the framework of the EC-funded IST project MOEBIUS, MedGate aims at establishing an integrated health care management and a system-oriented cost control to replace the current reactive and episode-oriented processing in disease management. Dr. Fisher gave an extended account of the MOEBIUS vision during one of the plenary sessions at the Telemedicine & Telecare International Trade Fair in Luxembourg.

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Solutions to reduce the costs in health care consist in the continuous monitoring of patients and the amelioration of compliance. In this regard, the use of telemedicine offers nice opportunities to meet these goals. Therefore, MOEBIUS will provide a Mobile Extranet multi-language platform offering a 24/7 service with worldwide accessibility for regular communication between centres of competence, medical call centres, general practitioners (GPs), and patients. This platform will deliver remote consulting, development of therapeutic algorithms, continuous analysis of data, as well as quality and knowledge management, as Dr. Fisher explained.

The Mobile Extranet Based Intergrated User Services (MOEBIUS) Platform will be used for frequently occurring diseases such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disorders, and obstructive pulmonary diseases, which can be managed by telemonitoring equipment. MedGate as a medical call centre offers a round-the-clock service to this type of patients and acts as an interface between the GP and the hospital. The MOEBIUS platform in this way will be able to provide specific procedures of intervention, according to the speaker.

The information and communication flow of patient data, images and audio can take on the scenario of a physician prescribing a therapy or pharmaceutical drugs in combination with an interactive information and communication programme consisting of instructions, questionnaires or predefined dialogues, using General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) over GSM.

This application is linked with analytical on- or off-line equipment that measures specific parameters, such as glucose, blood pressure, ECG or other vital values, in predetermined or remote-controlled time intervals. A set of instructions, questionnaires, emergency, and other templates, accessible by GSM, allows the patient to be monitored remotely and to have access to therapeutic instructions and advice, with back-up from an emergency system.

Dr. Fisher in his talk addressed the health care applications of the platform but the Mobile Extranet is not just confined to this type of applications. It has wider implications including the monitoring of the elderly, children or disabled individuals and the remote access by sales forces to central databases. The MOEBIUS platform thus consists of an application layer for health care and business applications and three underlying layers, one for security mechanisms, and a twofold layer for micro- and macro-mobilities provided by the state-of-the-art and future mobile data systems with Mobile IP, such as SMS, GPRS, circuit data, and Cellular IP.

The consortium partners in the project are the University Hospital of Basel and MedGate, the University of Antwerp and the Polytechnic University of Catalunya, the National Technical University of Athens, BioMedical Research and the technical partners Siemens, Bull, Telit Mobile Terminals and TDC Sunrise. For additional information you can visit the MOEBIUS project Web site.


Leslie Versweyveld

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