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ICT & Medicine. Introduction. ICT has had a major impact in all aspects of health care and medicine in the past 20 years. Main Uses Administration inc. Patient records Diagnosis Monitoring and Treatment Telemedicine Health Economics. Admin & Patient records. GP Level

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Introduction l.jpg

  • ICT has had a major impact in all aspects of health care and medicine in the past 20 years.

  • Main Uses

    • Administration inc. Patient records

    • Diagnosis

    • Monitoring and Treatment

    • Telemedicine

    • Health Economics

Admin patient records l.jpg
Admin & Patient records

GP Level

  • Most now use limited IT based system

  • Carries only basic information

  • Treatment records tend to be still paper based - paper file of records

  • Fund holding has lead to need for more efficient and accountable systems

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Admin & Patient records

GP Level(cont.)

  • Paper based system very inefficient

  • records get lost, become indecipherable

  • difficult to analyse - trends, demographics, costs etc.

  • transfer of records slow - GP to GP; GP to Hospital

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Admin & Patient records

GP Level(cont.)

  • Many systems not compatible with each other

    • Need for standards

  • High cost of transferring legacy records

  • High cost of training staff

    • Need for funding

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Admin & Patient records

Hospitals etc

  • No overall strategy

  • Some small scale move to digital records

  • Most treatment records still paper based

    • very inefficient and costly

  • Large areas needed to simply store records, x-rays etc.

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Admin & Patient records

The (possible) future

  • Central patient record system for all UK

  • Accessed by all : GP - hospital

  • All information digitally delivered and stored - inc scans, x-rays etc.

  • Possible use of smart card for recent records

Diagnosis l.jpg

  • Major Use -scanning

    • CAT - Computer Aid Tomography

    • MIR - Magnetic Image Resonance

    • PET - Proton Emission Tomography

    • Enhanced X-ray

    • Enhanced Ultra sound

  • All use sophisticated computer techniques to visualise deep body systems

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Expert Systems

  • Some , mainly USA, moves towards computer aided diagnosis.

  • Computer asks series of questions which leads to possible diagnosis.

  • System limited at present - can miss serious illness

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Monitoring and Treatment

  • Computer aided systems widely used for patient monitoring - heart rate, blood pressure, temperature etc.

  • Mainly intensive care but moving into general ward use

    • provide regular updates, can perform some analysis/early warning

    • frees up nurses/doctors for other duties

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Monitoring and Treatment

  • Increasing use in treatment systems

  • Radiological/laser systems -dose delivery, positioning

  • IV drug pumps

  • Automatic monitoring of chemical levels levels e.g. insulin, with remedial delivery of drugs

Telemedicine l.jpg

  • Use of computer/communications technology to deliver:-

    • remote diagnosis

    • remote monitoring

    • health education

  • Increasing use in rural areas (UK)

  • Widely used in third world and other remote areas

Health economics l.jpg
Health Economics

  • Controversial area

  • Uses computer technology to calculate costs of treatments

  • Can be (and is) used to decide if economically viable to treat patients

    • particularly elderly and terminally ill

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Other Uses

  • Bar code tagging of patients

  • Bar coding of blood packs

  • Digital hearing aid technology

  • Muscular stimulation in paralysed patients

  • Bionics - computer aided artificial limbs etc.

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Other Uses

  • Trend and pattern spotting - epidiomology

  • Drug design

  • Genetic Engineering

  • DNA analysis

  • 3D imaging in reconstructive surgery

  • Internet diagnosis

    • worrying trend, many charlatans and fraudsters

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The Future

  • Increased use of computers in all aspects of health care

    • faster

    • more efficient (in some cases)

    • may help to fill skills gaps


    • impersonal

    • can go wrong