In recent years the acceleration of digital health has revolutionised the way medical professionals work. The “Shift Left'' policies of deploying innovative technology solutions to support specialised, integrated care from acute settings to the community are driven by the reimagining of traditional care being to be delivered digitally. This includes intelligent and personalised remote monitoring solutions within acute hospital care as well as in the community setting. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telemedicine and remote monitoring, leading to a paradigm shift in how patients are treated in the setting of their choosing.
Digital Healthcare is the convergence of digital technologies with traditional healthcare, to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery to make medicine more personalised and precise. This enables earlier intervention, better patient care and most importantly, improved patient outcomes. New technologies are an essential component and an enabler of sustainable health systems and universal health coverage. Accelerating digital health advances the health and well-being of people around the world and is a key contribution to the United Nations goal of working to attain the Sustainable Development Goal Number 3 of “Good health and wellbeing”.
With the transition to digital health, it is vital to have patient data and privacy secured and safe. Patient health data is classified as sensitive personal data, or personally identifiable information.
In the event of data network disruption following criminal activity, seen recently in Ireland and in other health systems in previous years, the loss of the usual connected tools of day to day health care that we have come to rely upon has been extremely disruptive to the running of clinical operations. A new criteria for care has emerged which is the ability of medical devices to be resilient in the event of cyber disruption. The RespiraSense continuous respiration rate monitoring systems has remained largely unaffected by the network outage and has continued to work as intended by reverting solely to secure Bluetooth (BLE) data transmission within the ward environments.
The RespiraSense utilises BLE as its primary communication between the patient and the ward dashboard and automatically switches to BLE if WiFi or ethernet communication is disrupted. This feature enables the medical team to continue to monitor unstable patients , particularly those with early warning scores (EWS) of greater than four, while unprecedented conditions prevail (e.g cyber attack, network outage).
The advancement of digital health and COVID-19 have together accelerated the need for innovation. In November last year, PMD launched the CORONA-RS project with the European Space Agency. This project enables the use of novel medical devices for respiratory monitoring to be used beyond the confines of the hospital system and into the patients home to remotely monitor a patient's condition.
PMD's goal is to enable digital healthcare at its highest quality and usability in order that medical technology can provide benefits to all patients regardless of where they are situated.
COVID-19 has spearheaded the deployment of more digital healthcare technologies, and patients must be at the heart of any advancements. At PMD Solutions, patient’s are the driving force of everything we do. As more healthcare systems move towards new technologies, it is vital to protect patients' data and provide continuity of care while protecting against the risk of data loss and disruption of service.
The paradigm shift towards secure and robust digital healthcare will allow patients from all over the world to receive the same standard of care regardless of where they are.