Representatives of the Department of Promotion and Prevention of the Ladera Health Network, a social organization in the state of Cali, presented a new healthcare project at the Las Mercedes Penitentiary in Cartago.
Javier Colorado, Vice-Director of Promotion and Prevention at the Ladera Health Network, a non-profit organization in Cali State was at the Las Mercedes Penitentiary in Cartago presenting a pilot healthcare project they are leading.
“We want to introduce a technological healthcare solution with telemedicine,” said Colorado. This consists of specialized virtual medical consultations that patients can access easily, in which an inmate can be assessed by a specialist at the health center in Cali. Waiting periods for medical consults could be as short as 7 days, a large reduction on current periods, which can be as long as 3 months and the system would also avoid the need for physical transfers.
For telemedicine, specialized medical care teams are needed, as the patients’ assessment is sent over the Internet to the medical specialist in real time. “The diagnosis is reliable, as the specialist is a supported by the doctor and the necessary tests and will thus be able to guide the patient’s treatment,” added Vice-Director Javier Colorado.
Karla Liliana Torres, Director of the Penitentiary in Cartago, stated that this would be an opportunity to reduce the congestion of legal proceedings as there are currently around 85 inmates who require different specialties and many of them present petitions and claims in order to gain access to these services.
The Hospital Dr. Gustavo Fricke in Viña del Mar, the Hospital Santo Tomás in Limache and the Hospital de Petorca have implemented telemedicine services.
Healthcare services in Viña del Mar-Quillota have presented a new Telemedicine system that includes the Hospitals of Petorca, Viña del Mar and Limache. This program of virtual sessions makes it possible to connect a specialist from a base Hospital – in this case the Hospital Dr. Gustavo Fricke – with a general doctor from another care center in order to improve the quality of healthcare. Doctors will now be able to consult their colleagues and specialists without needing to transfer patients.
Dr. Manuel de la Prida, a doctor at the Hospital Dr. Gustavo Fricke, said that “this remote consultancy system connects the less complex hospitals of Petorca and Limache with their center of reference, the Hospital de Viña del Mar. This means that patients at these hospitals can be examined in real time, as if they were in a hospital booth at the center in question, through a mobile tele-consultancy device.”
The treatment methodology is simple: the cases arrive at the base Hospital 48 hours ahead and the objective is to resolve problems quickly for both patients who are hospitalized and outpatients.
Dr. Margarita Estefan, the Director of the Viña del Mar-Quillota Healthcare Service, hailed the Telemedicine system: “It means that we are connected to hospitals further away from our jurisdiction which, although they may not be very complex, receive patients with complex pathologies that need a specialist’s opinion. There is a working methodology with protocols and once a week sessions are held that connect general doctors to specialists.”
A new software of telerehabilitation, developed by a group of German scientists, will allow patients to do physiotherapy exercises using a PC.
A new technology has been designed to give future patients added motivation to do their exercises, allowing them to perform physiotherapy exercises at home or when out and about – during breaks at work, for instance. Experts call this telerehabilitation.
Underpinning this is a technology developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS in Berlin, consisting of an exercise editor, a physio box and a mobile sensor unit that connects to a smartphone. The therapist uses the exercise editor to work up a training program tailored to the individual patient, increasing the intensity from week to week. The patient can then run the program at home using the physio box, a sort of mini-PC for televisions. The small computer boasts internet connectivity, a camera and a microphone. Exercise routines are displayed on the TV screen for the patient to copy. The physio box analyzes the data recorded by the camera as the patient does the exercises. Beforehand, software is used to map each patient’s bodily characteristics in 3D and translate them into a biomechanical computer model. Once the data has been interpreted, the box sends it via the internet to the rehabilitation center, where the therapist sees how the patient is progressing and can adapt the exercises accordingly.
Mobile unit to measure movement and vital signs
Alongside measurements of movements, therapists need to know their patients’ vital signs – in other words pulse, oxygen saturation levels and, in some cases, readings from an electrocardiogram. This allows them not only to assess whether the patient is performing exercises correctly but also how much of a strain they are. This is particularly important when dealing with people who have a cardiovascular disease. “In light of this, we also developed a mobile unit,” says Dr. Michael John, project manager at FOKUS. “Sensors placed in a chest strap, watch or walking stick measure vital signs like pulse, blood pressure or the quality of the patient’s movement, sending the data to a smartphone.” The therapist can set threshold values using the exercise editor; for example, if a patient’s pulse reaches a level that exceeds the limit set for them, a warning signal is emitted.
The Rector of UCLM, the Director-General of Indra and the President of the Fundación Adecco have signed off on the implementation of a new Accessible Technology project. The purpose of the initiative is to favor the development of innovative solutions that facilitate social and work interaction for people with disabilities.
The University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) has finished the development of the Elcano project, an indoor guide solution for people with disabilities, implemented under the auspices of the Indra-Fundación Adecco Professorship in Accessible Technologies.
The objective of the Elcano project, set up in 2010, is to facilitate and optimize the mobility of people with disabilities in large public environments such as airports, train stations, libraries and other large administrative buildings.
To do so it has developed a navigation infrastructure made up of an intelligent environment information service; a multi-modal positioning system that includes different technologies (RFID, Wi-Fi cells, cameras) and a personal navigation device which the person with the disability can access through their mobile phone or tablet.
The modular design of the personal device allows the application to adapt to different kinds of disability, interpreting information collected from the environment in an appropriate manner in each case. For example, in the case of a person with impaired vision, it will provide audio information; for the hearing impaired it would provide visual information and for people with physical disabilities it would provide maps that take into account architectural barriers. In recent developments, Augmented Reality technology makes it possible to superimpose relevant information (destination, route, etc.) onto a camera image.
IBM Uruguay and the Asociación Español, in partnership with Antel and Roche Laboratories, have released a Pilot Telemedicine Plan placing themselves at the vanguard of technology that allows patients to be monitored wherever they are, without the need to travel.
This is one of the first experiences in the region in the implementation of these monitoring and clinical data gathering technologies with real patients. The data is processed by IBM and monitored by the Asociación Español, with alarms sent to the doctor’s mobile phone.
In this initial process, patients who are part of the Pilot Plan will send glycemia level information from home along secure connectivity networks to an IBM Uruguay Center which will process it and send it on to the computer platform of the Asociación Español.
Soon the Asociación Español will extend its Telemedicine services to improve the excellent care it provides its members even further.
This Pilot Plan is supported by Antel, which ensures internet connectivity, Roche laboratories with secure networks, glucose meters, infrared measurement devices, and the experience of its Diabetes Care Division, and the highly-qualified support of IBM Uruguay.
In Valencia, a team of medical academics and a virtual reality company have designed BioTrak Home, a new neurological tele-rehabilitation system that can provide home-care according to a personalized plan.
A group of researchers from LabHuman-I3BH at the Universitat Politècnica de València, together with doctors from the Neuro-Rehabilitation Service at the NISA Valencia al Mar and Sevilla Aljarafe Hospitals and the Virtual Reality technology company Bienetex have developed BioTrak Home, a new tele-rehabilitation system for patients suffering from brain damage that allows them to be treated at home.
This new system was presented on Tuesday, October 16th at 10:30AM, on the premises of the Nisa Valencia al Mar hospital. The system is based on “Cloud” technology. BioTrak Home makes it possible to continuously monitor and evaluate patients’ progress. The system includes a portable computer that the patient can connect to the their television, a depth camera and a motion capture platform on which they can carry out the exercises set by their therapists each day.
When the patient connects from home, BioTrak Home executes its personalized plan with different exercises and rests. Professionals can access the data to monitor the rehabilitation process, correct any errors in the performance of the exercises and periodically report on the patient’s development and improvement to family members.
The BioTrak Home module makes it possible to implement continuous remote evaluations of the progress of the patients and their different pathologies. The researcher from LabHuman-I3BH at the Politècnica de València, Roberto Llorens, noted that “the training will improve the patient’s condition throughout the entire life of the patient.” So patients who were receiving rehabilitation treatment in a hospital but have now been discharged can continue to do the same exercises at home. “This way they will always be cared for, assessed and undergo continuous doctor-led rehabilitation,” the researcher stated.