Article written by Vincent Keunen, founder of Andaman7. @vincentkeunen
Andaman7 technology series #1 - Introduction
With this post, we are starting a new series of articles dedicated to the technology of Andaman7. Our goal with this initiative is to contribute to the field of “health IT” by discussing challenges and possible solutions.
Among those challenges are:
- Complex data types: unstructured & text vs structured data, codified data, numeric / text / images / sound, weight of data elements (MB but more for images, for instance), ...
- Lack of agreed upon standards (or too many standards!) - although this has been improving over the last few years - think about HL7, FHIR,... but also ICD9/10, ICPC, SNOMED, LOINC,...
- Complexity of categorization, hence of codification systems: LOINC has 80k codes, SNOMED many more…
- Privacy issues imposing immediately the inclusion of access mechanisms with various roles and rights;
- Security issues, because health data has commercial value but it also belongs to / originates from individuals (see patients rights regulations, GDPR, ethics recommendations...);
- Very different needs of doctors (GP vs specialists), patients, hospitals and research;
- And a few others...
The opinions in these series are our own. They are based on our 25 years of experience in the field building large scale EHRs (Electric Health Record) and medical information exchange systems (1). We share them in good faith to help move the needle forward and inspire others. And of course, we also want to promote our own Andaman7 initiative, a project by patients for patients (2). Terms and acronyms are explained in our lexicon (3). We are open to and welcome discussion on these topics. You can find us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and we can also discuss on other media you would like to invite us to.
Andaman7 features a number of technical innovations never seen before on a mobile app, and in some cases, very innovative for desktop/server health applications / EHRs as well. These innovations are the result of our 25 years of experience in health IT (building large scale, distributed, extensible, EHR systems plus flexible user interfaces and secure communication systems for sensitive health data), combined with creative solutions that the team had to come up with in challenging projects. By “health IT”, we mean both care settings (hospitals, healthcare professionals tools) and medical research (R&D) software tools.
That’s it for our first, introductory, health IT article. Next post will be on “A new paradigm: distributed collaborative EHR”.
To read the summary of these articles, combined into our white papers, go to:
- Andaman7 Technical Innovations: http://bit.ly/a7TechInno
- Andaman7 advanced health data management: http://bit.ly/a7DataMan
(1) In a previous company, we built a prevention-focused EHR that is today used for 1 million people (most are in good health, some are patients). We also built the technology for the two largest “medical messaging systems” of Belgium, still being used today by 90% of all hospitals and doctors.
(2) Read our story.
(3) Consult the lexicon. It's a work in progress. Don’t hesitate to make suggestions and remarks to firstname.lastname@example.org.