Patient Treatment Begins in Ambulance, on Battlefield and at Home, Enabled by Digital Telemedicine

ambulance, battlefield
Diagnosing and treating patients remotely, whether they are on the battlefield, in an ambulance or at home improves survival rates and clinical outcomes. One of the smallest hospitals in the Netherlands is leading the digital deployment of telemedicine across the country in the interests of patient welfare and greater efficiency.

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SJG Weert has a track record of continual innovation in its efforts to improve patient care and won the accolade of most patient-friendly hospital in 2013. Now, together with DXC Technology, it is trialling the introduction of digital technologies such as data and video sharing in ambulances so that remote specialists can begin treatment immediately.

Scientific studies have long demonstrated the value of telemedicine in monitoring patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes or COPD, and how this results in significantly improved care. The American Telemedicine Association reported in Telemedicine’s Impact on Healthcare Cost and Quality how self-management of diabetes is essential to reducing the risks of associated disabilities.

Digitisation of remote treatment such as connecting ambulances to Accident and Emergency in hospitals saves lives by speeding up treatment. Dr Dirk Peek, Co-initiator Telemedicine Initiative at SJG Weert, cites the patient with thrombosis – clot on brain – or the cardiac patient, whose immediate treatment can be lifesaving. “We say time is brain”, he says.

The integrated ambulance and hospital operating theatre is a dramatic example of digital disruption, and early intervention on the battlefield in order to improve outcomes of injured soldiers is another. The key factor in both is the sharing of data between medical experts to provide a unified picture of the patient, and to facilitate the optimum interventions.

By partnering with DXC, SJG Weert Hospital is enabling the sharing of patient data to happen between every kind of medical professional in every kind of situation and medical location. In this way telemedicine can also turn the home into a hospital room where necessary.

To hear Dr Peek describe how telemedicine is revolutionising healthcare, listen to him in conversation with me at HPE Discover.

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Also by Helen Beckett.

welcome-feature-imageHelen Beckett is the Community Manager of the Business Value Exchange.  She has been a writer and editor for over 20 years and takes a particular interest in the challenges facing the CIO in today’s business climate.