In most developed countries, the provision of quality medical services is becoming one of the highest priorities of the state, as the population is increasingly “aging”. For younger generations, the usage and rapid development of modern technologies requires more and more time and health. But the development and provision of a higher level of functioning, achievement of HealthCare cost savings are virtually impossible to accomplish without capabilities of modern information technology.
Those systems become more and more complex along with the processes inside medical institutions. For example USA, countries of EU, Japan, Canada and Australia have for many years integrated IT programs in their HealthCare systems. The main idea behind such programs is to integrate ultimately all of the components into one entire country's health care system, the so-called National Health Information Network (NHIN). That network would connect distributed IT systems of individual health care institutions, and then urban, district and Regional Health Information Networks (RHINs), Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) and Regional Health Information Management Systems (RHIMSs).
So far there are not many examples of such Health Care Information Systems (HCISs), as the objective to build one is very challenging to achieve technically and organizationally. Not to mention the complexity of creating a nationwide NHIN. But we already can tell what technologies would be used in such system. Taking into account the unique characteristics of the work of health care workers and the use cases we have seen, we can outline the following key features of HCIS, that are not common in financial domain, nor industrial or commercial areas.
- Doctor needs to have access to data, added by other doctors. Such system would have to provide access to data on a all-to-all basis
- A large amount of data is stored in multimedia form. Images and video should have maximum quality (clarity) and speed of access (transmission).
- The complex workflows of doctors and nurses, established in their clinical practice over the decades. They have an enormous responsibility (ethical and legal) for their patients' lives and health. Therefore no innovations, including IT tools, should distract them, or make their day-to-day responsibilities complex, or increase working hours, etc.
- More qualitative than the quantitative nature of the clinical data, that healthcare providers (doctors, nurses) work with. This makes the process of formalizing information rather complex.
There are also other reasons of non-technical nature, which if not taken into account reduce the likelihood of successful completion of many HCIS projects. In spite of that, the number of HCIS projects is constantly increasing in the world.
Currently EU has an ambitious goal to integrate all national health information networks, to ensure that a unified electronic health card (EHR) is valid for the population of all EU countries.
We have built the data storage solution using very reliable technologies, such as Riak CS and Erlang Open Telecom Platform (OTP). They work for tens of years without restart,and with fraction of percent unavailability. Our system meets all the criteria for the data storage in the Health Care industry.
It can store Reference Information Models (RIM), introduced in Health Level Seven (Hl7) version 3, in Riak CS and then serve clinical data and documentation objects over HTTPS protocol. In conjunction with the natural language parser, such system would allow to identify embedded biomedical concepts, automatically mapping them to standard biomedical terminologies.
Our system can store blobs of data of 5 TB and even bigger. It has AWS S3 API, supported by most of AI training frameworks. It is extremely fast and cheap to operate.
Overall, we have the knowledge, experience and skills, required to build systems of any complexity. If you need to integrate your legacy IT system into the networks mentioned above (regional or even national), contact us for a free consultation.