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Telemedicine for patients with chronic liver diseases
Date:7/9/2014

the cell-based system. Of the research being carried out at the IBMT, the patient management system is currently at the most advanced stage. For the first time, the scientists are combining classic components of telemedicine such as remote monitoring for doctors with a system that assists with decision-making. This system is called the Care Flow Engine, and Kiefer explains what exactly is behind it: "We've created IT systems that can take treatment plans drawn up by doctors and turn them into such user-friendly automated processes that chronic liver disease patients can receive quality long-term treatment at home."

To this end, the scientists have developed an IT application called Personal Health Manager, which patients can access conveniently on tablet computers in the form of an app. It amalgamates all the data from devices that measure blood pressure, heart rate, weight, temperature, and liver values along with the treatment plans from the Care Flow Engine. "Its main purpose is to ensure optimum treatment for the typical complications that tend to accompany liver diseases," says Kiefer. This can be achieved by means of tests, questioning, exercises, or instructions. For example, patients are regularly asked to weigh themselves, measure their liver values, and accomplish a cognitive test. This provides indications as to how much patients are suffering from conditions such as encephalopathy and ascites. The system automatically evaluates the results, suggests adjustments to medication doses, and recommends courses of action that are then discussed between the doctor and the patient. "Although the technology is currently set up for liver diseases, it's suitable in principle for the telemedical treatment of any chronic illness. Adapting the existing system to make this a reality is our medium-term goal," says Kiefer. An initial prototype of the IT platform was successfully tested by doctors last year. Preparations are currently underway for a study involv
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Contact: Stephan Kiefer
Stephan.Kiefer@ibmt.fraunhofer.de
49-689-498-0156
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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Telemedicine for patients with chronic liver diseases
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