Smart health is, literally, the “smart healthcare“: That is, healthcare that uses IoT devices to exchange and process in real time useful data to the improvement of the individual and collective quality of life.
Smart health, a definition
In fact, smart health transforms not only the areas of treatment and rehabilitation but also those of prevention and health promotionmaking the definition of the WHO more concrete, which defines health as “a state of total physical, mental and social well-being” and not simply “the absence of disease or infirmity”.
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Salt’e-health it refers, generically, to the different ones healthcare digitalisation processestherefore to the creation of electronic infrastructures for administrative and not only clinical management of the data of each citizen, the smart health focuses more on IoT devicesincluding smartphones, which implement those same personalized processes and models for monitoring and treating health conditions.
Smart health is in fact the basis of 4P medicine: Preventive, Participatory, Personalized and Predictive. That is, a medicine capable of prevent disease on the basis of the intersection of the different omics profiles of the person, through a simple blood sampling and / or data processing of IoT devices; a medicine capable of making each person no longer “patient” but aware e participates in their state of health thanks to real-time communication with their doctors; a medicine capable of customize diagnosis and treatment based on the risk factors detected by the omics profiles and the information received from wearables; a medicine capable of forecast the severity of the risk factors a disease before it manifests itself.
La smart health comprende: i wearable devicewearable devices that often have functions of monitoring and notification of some vital parameters; the implantesor the devices or injectable substances that act as active ink if illuminated by a suitable light; 3D printers, which can produce detailed modeled tissues and organs with obvious advantages in preoperative planning. But it also includes the m-healththat is the different mobile apps that monitor biometric parameters for blood tests, other biological samples or that support rehabilitation and assistance.
What smart healthcare can do
Smart health serves to automate procedures and simplify bureaucracy, contain costs, reduce times, optimize flows, make people aware of one’s health condition through the transparency of data, which can be immediately consulted, develop health care programs “tailored to the person”. It is essential for monitoring the quality of air, water, and building safety.
Smart health allows you to be assisted almost everywhererealizing the famous transition from waiting medicine to initiative medicine, or from an emergency model to a proactive model of reticular, “care-intensive” assistance, which sees the hospital as a high-intensity center for acute pathologies , and the “low intensity” territorial units as structures that manage chronic conditions, prevention, social assistance services.
Smart health includes both Smart Hospital, that is the health structures that want to optimize resources and processes through a better organization of information, patients, clinical and administrative staff; that Smart Patientcitizen-patients who use connected objects to monitor their health conditions both with a view to prevention and to facilitate the assistance and treatment process.
Telemedicine, telemonitoring, teleconsultation
The pandemic acted as a catalyst for the transition to smart health: the telemedicinethat is the provision of care and assistance services in situations where distance is a critical factor, by any health worker through the use of ICT, has proved invaluable in terms of containing the epidemic and continuity of care .
Telemedicine is divided into: telemonitoraggioor assistance in structures other than hospitals; televisitor the remote interaction with the doctor and the prescription if necessary of the therapy; teleconsultoan indication of diagnosis and / or choice of therapy without the physical presence of the patient, or a consultancy activity at a distance between doctors; health telecooperationthe assistance provided by a doctor to a colleague or other healthcare professional.
Il telemonitoraggio, which includes sending clinically meaningful signals from patients to care centers, cannot ignore IoT deviceswhich monitor parameters such as heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, temperature, brain activity, calories, steps taken, dosage and medication intake.
L’Digital Innovation Observatory in Healthcare of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano, considering the estimates of medical specialists on remote visits (20%) and only patients with chronic diseases (24 million in Italy), estimated that thanks to the enhancement of telemedicine services it would be possible to save 48 million hours wasted today in avoidable journeys, which rises to 66 million hours if we consider that 35% of patients are accompanied by a doctor to a caregiver. Data presented during the conference “Digital Health beyond the emergency: more connected to restart” of May 2021.
Systems and examples of smart health and applications today in Italy and in the world
The need to move care closer to communities and the likelihood of future viruses are changing the healthcare infrastructure.
Il NYC Health + Hospitalsthe largest public hospital system in the United States of America, allows emergency medical personnel to use telemedicine to treat patients and divert emergency room calls for videoconferencing examinations if immediate hospitalization is not required.
Il Rush University Medical Center of Chicago, opened in 2012, was designed with a butterfly-shaped structure, an atrium equipped with electrical and medical gas outlets to accommodate emergency beds, rooms with glass doors and insulated ventilation: valuable features in times of pandemics, which they could be used as a model for the hospitals of the future.
In Italy, theDigital Innovation Observatory in Healthcare of the School of Management of the Polytechnic of Milan highlighted the cases of the new Civic Hospital of Sassuolo, of the ASL Cuneo 2, of the ASL of Frosinone of the Regional Strategic Agency for Health and Social of Puglia, of the IRCCS Maugeri Clinical Scientific Institutes – Lumezzane.
L‘Civic Hospital of Sassuolo has developed for the post-Covid phase, in which to recover outstanding services, a system to monitor gatherings in the waiting room: through a data analytics platform a dynamic model has been developed that estimates the number of people who will be present in the waiting room, optimizing access. The first real step is the development of forecasting algorithms based also on AI that foresee the time of delivery of the single service, to guarantee the distancing and improve the efficiency of the service.
L’ASL Cuneo 2 has adopted a solution that collects clinical parameters and information thanks to questionnaires sent via text message to patients with medium severity positive for Covid, in treatment with outpatient hemodialysis, hypertensive patients with advanced kidney disease or their caregivers.
L’ASL of Frosinone has developed various digital services in health homes, territorial clinics and prisons: territorial telecardiology, home telemonitoring, communications via app.
The IRCCS “Maugeri” Scientific Clinical Institutes of Lumezzane are carrying out a project with three-month home remote health surveillance programs dedicated to Covid patients: in the first two weeks, the patient receives daily telephone contacts from the case manager nurse, in the following two weeks at least two weekly contacts and subsequently it is the patient who contacts in case of necessity. Patient who monitors his own saturation parameters and any arrhythmias.
L’Regional Strategic Agency for Health and Social of Puglia has developed a project that provides an enabling platform for the management of chronic patients that allows you to develop an individual care plan, to remotely monitor vital parameters, to carry out teleconsultations, to access a virtual specialist television clinic and view the own data through a specific dashboard. Platform accessible via app for patients and healthcare professionals.
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