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Telehealth is the provision of health services at a distance. Typically, this occurs in unsupervised or remote environments, such as a patient's home. We describe one such telehealth system and the integration of extracted clinical measurement parameters with a decision-support system (DSS). An enterprise application-server framework, combined with a rules engine and statistical analysis tools, is used to analyze the acquired telehealth data, searching for trends and shifts in parameter values, as well as identifying individual measurements that exceed predetermined or adaptive thresholds. An overarching business process engine is used to manage the core DSS knowledge base and coordinate workflow outputs of the DSS. The primary role for such a DSS is to provide an effective means to reduce the data overload and to provide a means of health risk stratification to allow appropriate targeting of clinical resources to best manage the health of the patient. In this way, the system may ultimately influence changes in workflow by targeting scarce clinical resources to patients of most need. A single case study extracted from an initial pilot trial of the system, in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic heart failure, will be reviewed to illustrate the potential benefit of integrating telehealth and decision support in the management of both acute and chronic disease.
Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:14 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2010