IBM teams with Google and Continua Health Alliance to move data from remote personal medical devices into Google Health and other PHRs

Armonk 04 February 2009IBM, in collaboration with Google and the Continua Health Alliance, has launched new software that will enable personal medical devices used for patient monitoring, screening and routine evaluation to automatically stream data results into a patient's Google Health Account or other personal health record (PHR). This breakthrough extends the value of PHRs to consumers and also helps to ensure that such records are current and accurate at all times. Once stored in a PHR, the data can also be shared with physicians and other members of the extended care network at a user's discretion.

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Using IBM software to connect personal medical devices to Google Health and other health-record systems will allow patients to exchange vital health information with their doctors and other health services professionals more easily, and in real-time. As a result, health professionals can provide more timely feedback to patients on their conditions, suggest treatments, and help improve overall quality of life. In a world where chronic diseases like diabetes afflict more than 600 million (World Health Organization - 2005 - Ten Facts About Chronic Disease), where more than one billion are overweight (World Health Organization - 2003 - Obesity and Overweight: Dr. P. Puska, Dr. C. Nishida, Mr. D. Porter), and where the number of people older than 60 years will reach 1,2 billion by 2025 (World Health Organization - 2006, February 13 - The world is fast ageing - have we noticed?), the IBM software solution can also help advance personalized health care.

For example, a busy mom can receive daily electronic updates on the health status of an aging parent who lives alone, is suffering from high blood pressure, and is on multiple medications. A traveling businessperson, who is diabetic and training for a marathon, can have a real-time discussion about her blood sugar levels and heart rate with her coach hundreds of miles away. Google Health allows users to store, manage, and share their medical records and personal health information securely on-line. Google Health was officially launched in May 2008.

"Our partnership with IBM will help both providers and users gain access to their device data in a highly simplified and automated fashion", stated Sameer Samat, Director for Google Health. "IBM has taken an important step in providing software that enables device manufacturers and hospitals to easily upload recorded data into a PHR platform, such as Google Health."

IBM integrated the capabilities of Information Management, Business Intelligence and the WebSphere Premises Server sensor event platform with Google Health. The new IBM solution will be able to:

  • Support a wide variety of use cases, including chronic disease management, health and wellness, and elderly care, both in the United States as well as in countries and health-services enterprises around the world.
  • Leverage the power of Services-Oriented Architectures, so that the partners can quickly build increasing volumes of flexible solutions for health care consumers and services providers based on modular components.
  • Support the rapid growth of open standards through the power of the Continua Alliance, which is dedicated to enabling interoperable health care products and solutions.
  • Support the development of solutions using the Google Health open platform.

"By harnessing the rapidly growing use of remote patient monitoring across every part of the health care services industry, our new IBM solution greatly increases the real-time value of PHRs for consumers everywhere", stated Dan Pelino, General Manager, IBM Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry. "Open standards-based systems and technologies - freely available to anyone interested in using them - are key to fueling the development of systems that can share and exchange vital health care information on a timely basis, whenever and wherever it's needed."

IBM developed the software based on guidelines from Continua Health Alliance, a globally recognized organisation dedicated to enabling interoperable personal health care products and solutions. It is also based in part on key open-source software available now from Eclipse and Open Health Tools, which are open source communities dedicated to supporting advancements in health care.

"With close to a quarter of the world's population overweight, more than 600 million people with some form of chronic disease, and millions more reaching retirement age, the time for greater personal health management is now", stated Dave Whitlinger, Continua Health Alliance President. "Continua member companies like IBM and Google are working on real solutions that will empower consumers and health care professionals to access and share information quickly and easily through connected products and solutions. Together, we can create a new marketplace, improve health and quality of life, and advance personal telehealth worldwide."

The technology behind this open, interoperable advance in PHR function was demonstrated successfully in October at the Partners Connected Health Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts, by IBM and Google, with the support of Continua Health Alliance. Google Health is free to users and available on-line at www.google.com/health. More IBM news can be found in the VMW February 2009 article Mayo Clinic and IBM establish medical imaging research centre.


Source: IBM

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