According to the World Health Organization (WHO) , worldwide obesity has reached epidemic proportions. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults and over 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight. Why does it matter?
Obesity is a major risk factor for hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases which were the leading cause of death in 2012. Obesity is preventable. While personal dietary and physical activity patterns play a key role, more importantly, the lack of supportive policies in sectors such as health, agriculture, food processing, marketing and education is the real issue.
One patient, one set of data
Rudolf Mezei, an economist who is the Managing Director of Medistance in Hungary, says one way to drive more supportive policies is to give all stakeholders a single view of the patient’s data.
“National healthcare systems are typically able to measure the amount of money spent per patient, but they are not able to measure the efficiency of the prescribed treatment. In Hungary, we measure the amount of medication, but we are not able to monitor the changes in the health of the nation,” says Mezei. “Without regular home monitoring we are not really influencing the overall healthcare budget when it comes to diseases such as hypertension, diabetes or obesity.”
Here’s where a community healthcare approach based on regularly monitored patient data can make a crucial difference. That’s what Medistance has set out to accomplish. The program, which is running several large projects in Hungary and abroad, is an intelligent healthcare solution that connects general practices,specialist practices, hospitals and insurance providers so everyone, even relatives, get the same view of the patient’s data. Healthcare experts and decision makers can also view aggregated patient data in different dimensions such as region, population segment or healthcare category.
Mobilizing against disease with technology
Medistance uses clinically validated medical devices with machine to machine (M2M) technology to collect data that is stored, managed and analyzed with SAP Business One HANA in the cloud. People can measure and transmit their data from the comfort of their homes while healthcare providers and family members can share data and interactively make changes that are suggested by preset threshold alarms.
“Having a holistic view of the data is an eye opener for all parties. While some doctors originally resisted the concept thinking it was yet another control mechanism, they soon realized that pre-evaluated clinically valid data adds great value because it is completely secure and trustworthy,” says Mezei. “In addition, the system uses clinical protocal based algorithms to make intelligent recommendations regarding next steps. If you add wearable technology to the equation, the system can also make personalized suggestions based on the patient’s lifestyle.”
Medistance, a strategic SME project for SAP across Europe, is disrupting the healthcare landscape of entire countries and regions. With pilots ranging from Scandinavia to the Middle East, Medistance can help disparate countries and systems understand the benefits of optimizing and standardizing healthcare in order to create those kinds of policies that can truly impact the well-being of large segments of the population.