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Vol 20, No. 11, November 2016   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
From Home to Hospital: Digitisation of Healthcare
John Williams, a 54-year-old man with a heart condition, narrates his story:

I had been having some indigestion issues since last night. I wondered if the culprit was my dinner of rib-eye steak and the two beers that I consumed along with it. I was not feeling that well so I opted to work at home.

Grateful that I could access my emails through a portal, I was browsing through when I felt a sharp pain in my chest. There was no one else at home, and I began to panic a little. Was it the so-called angina? Was I having a heart attack?

As I tried to calm myself, I remembered reading about a health chatbot launched by a start-up named Ring MD, where a patient might be able to get a consultation without the need to step out from home. I launched my Skype window and searched for the artificial intelligence platform, Cardea, to add her as my friend.

RingMD is a Singapore-based company which developed a health chatbot, Cardea, that enables patients to seeks physicians’ advice and even schedule appointments from anywhere, anytime. Available on Skype, RingMD has developed an automated yet personalised solution that brings conversational intelligence to life. Cardea also connects users to RingMD’s secure telecommunications platform to speak to certified medical doctors instantly by video.

Cardea was a virtual nurse, designed to answer health questions and proposed remedies for certain diseases. I started sharing the symptoms I was feeling and identified that it was a heart condition.

I began to feel worried as Cardea recommended me to seek advice from a doctor. I exited Skype and entered RingMD’s secure medical platform where qualified doctors from around the world had set up a profile. I connected with a doctor who was online and relayed my symptoms to him. The doctor advised me to get a physical examination in person so that tests could be run. I used the same online platform to make an appointment with Dr. Ravi, a cardiologist based on a hospital nearby.

The day of the appointment came and I was experiencing some slight nausea. Dr. Ravi was working in a hospital that I had not been to before. Using the wayfinding technology from Oneview Healthcare and Aruba through routes and maps easily accessed from my mobile phone, I was able to navigate my way to Dr. Ravi’s office within minutes. I underwent a rigorous check-up and Dr. Ravi concluded that I must be admitted into the hospital for observation while we awaited my test results.

Oneview Healthcare’s platform enhanced by Aruba’s wayfinding technologies helps map key locations and routes within a hospital. Integrated with Oneview’s Connect Mobile Application and delivered directly to a patient’s mobile devices, the user experience is optimised through dynamic scheduling, assigning patient education and goals, secure messaging and advanced wearables integration.

I worried about the amount of work that would pile up because of my unexpected absence as I was delivered into the ward on a wheelchair. I remembered the doctor’s advice to reduce my stress levels so I called up my secretary to tell her that I would be resting for a few days. Once settled in my ward, I fell asleep immediately.

The next morning, I woke up in my own accord feeling slightly better. My chest still hurt a little but pretty much tolerable. While there was a flat screen for entertainment, I reached for the multifunction tablet on my bedside table instead browsed through the Oneview Healthcare platform to try its meal ordering function. Because my symptoms had already been recorded, my meal choices were customised to the prescribed healthier options.

The patient engagement journey continues into the ward with Oneview Healthcare’s Patient Experience solution. The patient engages through many features which include assigned medical education, meal ordering, Skype, secure messaging and tracking their care plan via goals. They do all of this whilst enjoying world class entertainment such as TV, the latest movies and games.

As I was placing my order for breakfast, I preoccupied myself with learning more about my symptoms. Luckily, Oneview had a section where they included assigned medical education about certain diseases. Just then, a window popped up to inform me that someone was approaching my room.

With its face recognition features, I immediately was relieved to find that it was Dr. Ravi. He did not have good news for me, however. My breathlessness and nausea have been caused by a clogged artery and I needed to undergo surgery as soon as possible. In order to provide me with a visual, the doctor donned a device—a futuristic set of goggles reminiscent of virtual reality apparatus—and switched on his laptop. He said that it was called the Microsoft HoloLens. On the flat screen in front of my bed, a coloured structure of my heart was projected. Dr. Ravi manipulated the structure with his hands in mid-air, zooming in to where the clog was. He gave me a detailed strategy on how to unclog the affected artery to give me the fastest downtime possible and that I might be able to return to my normal routine.

With mixed reality enabled by Microsoft HoloLens, solutions were developed to create value to the health continuum. Vital Images’ VitreaView enterprise imaging enables a doctor an immersive view of a patient’s anatomy via mixed reality. Using Vitrea 3D/4D software, clinicians use rich population health meta-data to optimise clinical care, improve collaboration and develop personalised comprehensive treatment via the Microsoft Cloud.

In effect, this gave me peace of mind that the doctor was sharing this information with me. It made the procedure less overwhelming and it assured me that I would be under safe hands.

With Oneview Healthcare, Dr. Ravi was able to schedule my surgery easily and that I was to stay in the hospital until then. I suppose I could consider this as a “mini-vacation”. On the Oneview software alone, they did not leave out entertainment. I browsed through it and saw that it was loaded with games and movies as well. I sat back and relaxed, catching up on the films that I hadn’t watched before.

Dr. Ravi was right. Post-surgery was pain-free and quite effortless. I stayed for a couple more days after my procedure was performed. I became often thirsty and used the platform from Oneview to request for a glass of water. The nurse didn’t have to come to my room, ask what my request was and then return with it. The service request feature in the application was very convenient in saving time and effort.

The nurse entered the room with my glass of water and one of the IoT sensors within the ward reminded her to sanitise her hands before attending to me. She did so dutifully and checked my vital signs as I drank my water.

With connected IoT sensors within the ward built upon the Microsoft Cloud, healthcare workers can be reminded to sanitise their hands before approaching patients. This is supported by Aruba beacons and Aruba’s mobile engagement solutions.

Suddenly, a Skype box launched from the Oneview platform and it was Dr. Ravi inviting me for a video call.

I accepted and I updated him about my current condition. I was feeling much better, although still a bit weak. Dr. Ravi then told me about my required subsequent check-ups. He showed me his screen, and through an analytic software called Proskriptive, he recommended preventive measures I needed to take in order to lessen the chances of getting readmitted. I, for one, wanted to extend my life and the quality of it. If a lifestyle change was what it took, then I would gladly prepare for the overhaul.

Proskriptive’s cloud-based predictive analytics solution is built on Microsoft’s data platform, which alerts health professionals and patients of any recommended intervention required in order to reduce the potential of readmission.

After being discharged, I was provided with a health band that would record my vital signs in order to alert Dr. Ravi for any irregularities. Clinic to Cloud’s Clinical and Patient Portal would enable my doctor to consult with other health specialists from all over the world for brainstorming and coming up with immediate treatment in case of readmission.

Family doctors can collaborate with specialists using the Surface Hub equipped with Clinic to Cloud’s Clinical & Patient Portal service to brainstorm on immediate treatment or intervention required before the patient is readmitted. This is powered by Aruba’s application-aware infrastructure which recognises and optimises video and voice traffic, providing end-to-end QoS for jitter-free communications.

Thanks to the advances in technologies, virtually anything could be accessed in our mobile devices now. If I had been afflicted with milder symptoms, I would have received medical advice at home via Skype. With all these innovations and technology at our disposal, fast and prompt health services would be within reach for any patient, anytime and anywhere in the world.

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