Reusing patient data to enhance patient empowerment and electronic disease surveillance

Gunnar Hartvigsen, Eirik Årsand, Taxiarchis Botsis, Klaske van Vuurden, Monika Johansen, Johan Gustav Bellika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To improve patient empowerment and enhance early detection of infections through reusing physiological data collected by patients with chronic diseases, e.g. diabetes. Methods: The solution described is based on three different projects at the Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine, University Hospital of North Norway and the University of Tromsø: (1) A self-help tool for people with diabetes, (2) a distributed system (the Snow system) that collects data from Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and laboratories, and after the data has been processed makes it available to end users, e.g. patients and general practitioners (GPs) as statistical data, (3) an electronic disease surveillance system. Blood glucose levels measured and stored electronically by patients are pulled by the Snow system and after being processed are made available to patients (GPs and other health personnel) so that an individual patient can assess how well their diabetes is being managed in comparison to a similar cohort of patients. Based on elevated blood glucose levels being an early indicator for infection the data is also passed to the electronic disease surveillance system for analysis. Results: Interaction with patients during the design of the self-help tool for people with diabetes, and in the construction of the disease surveillance system, indicated that for some patients, access to other patients' data (i.e. reusing the data) may be beneficial for a patient's health. The system has not yet been evaluated to see if it can reliably identify patients with an infection in the early stages of the disease. Conclusion: Through the use of personal health records (electronic diary), a system for transmission of personal health data to general practitioners' electronic health records, a system for extraction of diagnoses codes from EHRs, and a system for transmission of patient data between different EHRs, we have designed a system for electronic disease surveillance that works both on a micro and macro level. The system is expected to provide individual data for the patient to enable comparison between patient groups, and identify early detection of patients with an infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
JournalJournal on Information Technology in Healthcare
Volume7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 20 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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