Today’s research will help plant the roots of the future of healthcare

Far reaching scientific research in health IT is ongoing that will help construct the foundation of an interactive, health information technology system that generations to come will reap the benefits of.

In the future patients will be able to pick up their smart phone, start the myHealth application to access their personal health information, get a diagnosis, schedule a GP visit, order medication as well as a range of other advanced services.

Joris Van Dam is a speaker at the marcus evans Evolution Summit, which will take place this week (27-29 October) in Switzerland.

Van Dam is responsible for the development and delivery of projects that teach us how we can use information, and information technology solutions, to improve the safety, efficacy and affordability of treatment for patients in different disease areas and geographic regions.  He is currently running a number of these projects in EMEA and Asia Pacific.

“We take a scientific approach to understand what information needs to be delivered to whom and in which circumstances, and we conduct research to prove whether and how that impacts the health outcomes of people and patients,” he explains.

A potentially far reaching project currently being worked on is the building of a system that will support HIV patients in adopting correct and daily use of their (life saving) medication in early stages of treatment.

“In such early stages of treatment, patients are experiencing a multitude and complexity of symptoms and effects, both physical, psychological, and social, and they basically have to change their daily routines lives to incorporate regular treatment for the rest of their lives. Especially in early treatment, this takes a lot of getting used to. So this system supports these patients in their first 12 months of treatment, and tells them what to do when they experience such physical, psychological and social effects – without having to wait for their next visit to the clinic (typically every three months) and without having to take the often big step (cost and stigma) of going to the clinic. The system does not replace the role of the clinic, but it advises patients by following the widely accepted and generally published HIV treatment guidelines, applied to the individual medical status of the patient.

“A first and foremost benefit of such a system, is that it will help patients better cope with their treatment, and therefore they should be able to have better outcome of treatment over time. Down the road, the system may also have interesting benefits for pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare industry, because it collects a much more accurate and realistic picture of how the patient is really doing over time, what symptoms they are experiencing and when.  This will allow such companies to search for better and improved products that cause much less side effects and symptoms with their patients,” Van Dam adds.

The marcus evans Evolution Summit will take place in Switzerland on 27-29 October, 2010.