Home care decision support using an Arden engine--merging smart home and vital signs data.

Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, University of Braunschweig - Institute of Technology and Hannover Medical School, Germany.
Studies in health technology and informatics 02/2009; 146:483-7. DOI: 10.3233/978-1-60750-024-7-483
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The demographic change with a rising proportion of very old people and diminishing resources leads to an intensification of the use of telemedicine and home care concepts. To provide individualized decision support, data from different sources, e.g. vital signs sensors and home environmental sensors, need to be combined and analyzed together. Furthermore, a standardized decision support approach is necessary.
The aim of our research work is to present a laboratory prototype home care architecture that integrates data from different sources and uses a decision support system based on the HL7 standard Arden Syntax for Medical Logical Modules.
Data from environmental sensors connected to a home bus system are stored in a data base along with data from wireless medical sensors. All data are analyzed using an Arden engine with the medical knowledge represented in Medical Logic Modules.
Multi-modal data from four different sensors in the home environment are stored in a single data base and are analyzed using an HL7 standard conformant decision support system.
Individualized home care decision support must be based on all data available, including context data from smart home systems and medical data from electronic health records. Our prototype implementation shows the feasibility of using an Arden engine for decision support in a home setting. Our future work will include the utilization of medical background knowledge for individualized decision support, as there is no one-size-fits-all knowledge base in medicine.

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