InterComponentWare looks to integrate PHRs with iPhone and establishes Global Standards Office

Walldorf 17 March 2008InterComponentWare (ICW) plans to integrate the Apple iPhone and other smartphones with the Life Sensor personal health record to transmit vital emergency medical information to hospital staff. Patients who have access to ICW's web-based LifeSensor system can print out a personal emergency card with a one-time use personal identification number to carry in a wallet or purse. ICW is now in discussions to make the information available from the website - www.sos-lifesensor.com - in a format readable by smartphones.

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An ICW spokesperson stated: "The goal of the Life Sensor personal health record is to provide medical history in an on-line format anytime, anywhere. This is especially important in the case of a medical emergency and being able to securely access the data over smartphones such as the iPhone could be the next way of doing this."

The integration would only work in situations which were not time-sensitive, but if the patient was able to present their records to emergency staff, it would mean they could receive the right treatment immediately, according to ICW.

"Many ambulance workers often concentrate on stabilising the patient during transport but they will call in the emergency information to the hospital so that the information about blood type, allergies and pre-existing conditions are ready and waiting when the patient arrives. Having the information immediately available will make care for the patient swifter and ensure patient safety", the company stated.

"The goal of the Life Sensor personal health record is to provide medical history in an on-line format anytime, anywhere. Integration with other devices would definitely aid this, but there is a lot to consider before the plans can really come into force", ICW added.

The eHealth specialist InterComponentWare AG also has established a Global Standards Office. With immediate effect, Alexander Ihls, head of the Global Standards Office, will be responsible for worldwide ICW co-operation with standardization committees and initiatives in the health care system and will drive the development of the newly founded Open eHealth Foundation.

Global standards enable widespread use of information technology in the health care system, automation of processes and work flow standardization, and thus make it possible to make further improvements in medical care. For this reason, ICW is involved in numerous national and international committees such as the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise initiative (IHE), the Continua Alliance or the HL7 user groups and recently founded the Open eHealth Foundation in co-operation with Agfa HealthCare and Sun Microsystems.

Alexander Ihls will use his new position to ensure that the ICW solutions are compatible with as many systems from other manufacturers as possible. To do so, ICW's portfolio of solutions will support even more standards in the future. In addition, ICW will become even more actively involved in the shaping and implementation of national and international standardization developments.

Alexander Ihls explained: "I have been involved in all kinds of standardization committees and initiatives over the years. Therefore, it is particularly important to me to apply this knowledge actively to the further development of ICW solutions, in order to be able to contribute to a comprehensive and standardized health care network."

Alexander Ihls has more than 15 years experience in the eHealth sector, which he spent, among others, in management positions at iSOFT Deutschland and MEDOS, and in addition as the IT manager of the St. Georg Clinic in Leipzig. He is a member of the "Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) - Association for Information technology - where he was one of its founding board members. Most recently, Alexander Ihls was responsible for the strategy and development of the ICW product line ProfessionalGate, providing solutions for connecting hospitals and physicians, the care management of health insurances, and solutions for telemedical projects.

From now on Dr. Ralf Brandner will be in charge of the ProfessionalGate product line at InterComponentWare AG. In this position, he is responsible for the product line's strategy and further development. Dr. Brandner succeeds Alexander Ihls, who now manages the newly created ICW Global Standards Office.

The solutions Dr. Brandner develops together with his team are part of ICW Professional Suite. It offers customized solutions for data exchange and communication between hospitals, hospital associations, physicians, physicians' networks, health insurance companies and other health care service providers. In his new function, Dr. Brandner is responsible for product management as well as product development and quality assurance of the Professional Exchange Server, ICW's solution for cross-institutional medical and case records.

Furthermore he is responsible for the Care and Disease Manager, a solution for efficient process co-ordination in health and care management. Dr. Brandner explained: "ICW Professional Suite will advance networking in the health care system to improve communication for integrated health care between patients, service providers and cost carriers."

Dr. Brandner has over 10 years' experience in the eHealth market. He joined ICW in 2004 where he has held several executive positions. He is actively involved in VHitG workgroups and the HL7 user group as well as in the industrial board of the electronic case record project. He started his career at Heidelberg University Hospital where he managed a project dealing with the introduction of electronic signatures, among others. Dr. Brandner studied medical IT at Heidelberg University/Heilbronn College and received his doctorate at the Institute of Medical Biometry and IT at Heidelberg University.

More company news is available in the VMW September 2007 article ICW provides LifeSensor technology for scientific study and partners in national Bulgarian EHC pilot project.


Leslie Versweyveld

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