TUTCRIS - Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto


Hybrid model for the application of convergent ICT in process-specific health solutions



KustantajaTampere University of Technology
ISBN (elektroninen)952-15-1402-7
ISBN (painettu)952-15-1289-X
TilaJulkaistu - 14 tammikuuta 2005
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG4 Monografiaväitöskirja


NimiTampere University of Technology. Publication
KustantajaTampere University of Technology
ISSN (painettu)1459-2045


Information and communication technology (ICT), a discipline of engineering, has radically changed the ways in which we process and use information. Medicine has been one of the first application areas of modern ICT, since even simple information and communication tools can often be of great help. As modern ICT develops and matures, its users in medicine and health care, and more broadly in health, need to follow the evolution of ICT and identify the trends which could provide the greatest benefits. ICT convergence is a trend which coincides with the contemporary challenges and changes in medicine and other areas of health provision. It has considerable potential for assisting in the development of new supportive solutions for problems encountered in health service provision. A hybrid model for the application of convergent ICT in the health domain has been developed in this thesis to demonstrate the greater benefits expected from applying process-specific, convergent ICT as compared to using conventional manual and ICT solutions. The hybrid model consists of a process facilitation model and a process evaluation model. The former serves as a requirement taxonomy for an ICT convergent platform for process-specific health solutions. The latter defines a research methodology for the continuous evaluation (in the evaluation areas of health resource allocation efficiency, quality, usability, accessibility, and security) and improved implementation of process-specific ICT solutions in the health domain. A technology platform for process-specific, convergent health ICT solutions has been developed, based on the process facilitation model. The platform is shown to facilitate information, communications, terminal, and systems convergence to enable the realization of seamless, process-specific health ICT solutions. Finally, a selection of five process-specific health ICT solutions (from the three health strategies: tele-prevention, tele-treatment, and tele-rehabilitation) deployed on versions of the platform as both clinical and conceptual solutions are described and evaluated. The three tele-treatment solutions were evaluated extensively during clinical pilot use in primary health care settings. Evaluation of the oral anticoagulation treatment follow-up solution showed clear benefits over conventional treatment modalities in terms of efficiency, usability, and accessibility in three differing settings. The solutions for hypertension follow-up and guided asthma self-management were evaluated chiefly in terms of usability and accessibility; clear benefits over conventional treatment provision and support were observed. Objective evaluation of the two tele-prevention and tele-rehabilitation solutions was outside the scope of this thesis.


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