In this case study, you can read about how Partners HealthCare has enabled increased accessibility of healthcare by making health data and communication between patients and providers possible virtually through cloud computing.
Cloud computing makes personal health data accessible from home
Partners HealthCare is a large, integrated healthcare system in the Boston region, in the U.S., which provides patient care and employs about 50,000 people, including 6,000 doctors. In 2008, Partners delivered about approximately 4.2 billion Euro (US $6 billion) worth of healthcare services.
A division of Partners HealthCare is the Center for Connected Health
(CCH), which evaluates and creates solutions and programs that can help deliver quality patient care outside traditional medical settings. A key task of the CCH is to find and implement combinations of remote-monitoring technology, sensors, online communications, and cumulative medical data to improve the treatment of diseases and conditions that require ongoing care—such as diabetes, hypertension, and weight control.
Douglas McClure, Corporate Manager for Technology and Operations at the Center for Connected Health, said “We wanted to figure out how to capture data from a range of devices, including medical devices such as blood pressure monitors, glucometers, and weight scales—all from the patient’s home,” then added. “Then, how could we make that information accessible to patients and healthcare providers in a dynamic, interactive way to improve healthcare outcomes?”
To meet the challenge, CCH adopted a software-plus-services approach using Microsoft products, technologies, and solutions to create its Connected Health Care Suite (CHCS). Designed and implemented with the help of Claricode, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in medical software, the CHCS provides a combination of comprehensive records systems, online access to data, online communications between patients and providers, and integration with a variety of medical devices and computers.
To create the Connected Health Care Suite, the CCH and Claricode used several Microsoft products, including development and database software. They also used the Microsoft HealthVault™
platform, which provides online storage of medical records and applications that patients and healthcare providers can use to view and share health information securely. HealthVault also supports input from a wide range of medical devices, systems, and applications created by various solution and hardware providers.
Michael Myers, M.D., Medical Director for Hawthorn Medical Associates—a North Dartmouth, Massachusetts-based clinic that is using the Diabetes Remote Monitoring Programme powered by CHCS—has witnessed first hand the benefits of using the CHCS.
"I can easily track and monitor, for example, the progress of their A1c blood levels, their LDL cholesterols, the last visit that they had, or their blood pressure rates,” “It’s easy for me to determine if all those things are looking good, without requiring the patient to come in for a visit” said Myers.
The CHCS was launched with two pilot programmes—one involving remote monitoring of patients with heart conditions and the other for diabetics. These are two of the most common chronic medical conditions that lead to high healthcare costs and repeat admissions or visits to hospitals or doctors’ offices.
"This platform…will help streamline the steps needed to test and implement new ideas that use remote monitoring, remote care, and self-management of specific chronic diseases." Joseph Kvedar, M.D., Director Center for Connected Health, Partners HealthCare
This case study was originally published here
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