The Beppu Medical Association, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., and Fujitsu Limited today announced the development and successful trial of mobile-application control technology that revolutionizes on-site home healthcare work
Home healthcare requires that professionals in different roles, such as doctors, nurses, caregivers, and pharmacists, share healthcare information, such as patient vital sign data and messages between themselves, to conduct coordinated patient care.
Now, using Fujitsu Laboratories developed mobile-application control technology that automatically switches the application and information displayed on the smart device in response to the situation, including user qualifications, time, and place, Fujitsu have built a system incorporating this technology, and field tested it in Beppu City with Beppu Medical Association. As a result of this trial, the system, by sharing medical information among professions in multiple roles, was confirmed to effectively improve the quality of medical care, preserve the confidentiality of personal information, and to increase the efficiency of operations.
Going forward, the Beppu Medical Association will continue to implement advanced technologies in order to improve operational efficiency. Fujitsu will make use of the technology developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, with the goal of creating in-home healthcare system products.
In recent years, a variety of systems and solutions using smart devices, such as tablets, have been actively implemented on the frontlines of home healthcare, in order to improve the quality of healthcare by sharing medical information about the patient among healthcare providers, such as doctors, nurses, caregivers, and pharmacists.
The city of Beppu, whose proportion of elderly residents exceeded 31.3%(1) in 2015, has positioned itself in Japan in the vanguard of tackling issues related to an aging population, setting up an efficient healthcare provision system in which medical and nursing care are seamlessly integrated.
To ensure that healthcare professionals safely handle medical information on smart devices, such as photos recording the progress of treatment, messages between professionals, and information on vital signs, such as temperature and blood pressure, which are personal information, applications must be configured so that only the appropriate professional can access the relevant app when necessary, and that the app then quickly be closed afterward so that people without qualifications cannot see the information. Because these applications often require the user to input things like user ID, the patient’s ID, and a password, any number of times, and because it is necessary to operate them under prearranged rules for managing information, such as who can access information, where, when, and to what degree, they created a significant burden in busy home healthcare situations.
About the Technology
Now Fujitsu Laboratories has developed mobile-application control technology that automatically changes settings, such as whether a patient’s medical information is displayed, the limits of sharing, and the applications that can be used. The features of the technology are as follows:
- Policy Management Functionality
Policies defining who can access medical information on the network, where, when, and to what degree can be set by managers in advance.
- Policy Control Functionality
Based on the preconfigured policies, as well as information from qualification identification beacons carried by users and beacons installed in the patient’s home, applications and displayed information can be automatically changed. When visiting a patient’s home, the patient’s medical information is automatically displayed, and when the healthcare provider leaves the patient’s home, the information in the device becomes inaccessible or is erased.
Summary of On-Site Usage
A system was built incorporating this newly developed technology into Fujitsu Health Information Exchange Network HumanBridge EHR Solution, and together with the Beppu Medical Association, a trial was conducted on-site, including during in-home medical treatment and home care, as well as in prescription preparation tasks.
1. In-home treatment and home care tasks
Trial period: March through September, 2016
Trial location: In-home healthcare locations in Beppu
2. Prescription preparation tasks
Trial period: September through December, 2016
Trial location: Medical clinics and pharmacies in Beppu
This trial demonstrated that, by automatically displaying medical information when necessary according to the user’s profession and otherwise keeping the information inaccessible, the confidentiality of patients’ personal information could be securely preserved and the need to input IDs and passwords when accessing the information could be eliminated. Because this technology improved both security and convenience, it has been shown that smart devices can be actively used in a variety of ways to share the latest information-such as photographing and recording a patient’s symptoms and their living conditions and daily activities-among multiple professions.
In addition, with regard to policy management by managers, it was confirmed that the people in charge could learn to set and manage policies smoothly with just about 20 minutes of instruction.
With this technology, previously impossible medical information sharing through smart devices, offering both security and convenience, has become possible. It is expected that promoting the timely sharing of medical information among healthcare professionals using ICT in home healthcare will contribute to improving the quality of patient care and reducing the time required for sharing messages on things like the patient’s symptoms and the direction of care, which Fujitsu Laboratories estimates as a reduction of 22.5 hours/month per nursing station(2).
Going forward, the Beppu Medical Association will continue to implement advanced technologies in order to improve the efficiency of operations. Fujitsu will utilize the technology developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, with the goal of creating in-home healthcare system products during 2017, while Fujitsu Laboratories will continue research into expanding the functionality of the mobile-application control technology and its uses in a variety of healthcare fields.