Blog of Random Thoughts and Pictures

FP6 has MORE than come to a close

September 17th, 2009

My first encounter of the FP6 IST programme was in Dublin Castle July 12th 2002 at its Irish launch event in Dublin castle. I remember the day well funnily enough as the there were unexpected roadworks in South Kilkenny that morning so once I made it (late) to the conference room in the Castle, it was packed with people and I got moved into one of those language translation booths, which was great, I had a higher viewing vantage point, a table and a very comfortable chair!
Well 7 years, and eight FP6 projects later and the FP6 IST programme has come to a final chapter for me, as the IST MORE project is now technically complete.

Although in fairness my involvement in the research and developments of IST MORE was peripheral as really Chris, Gemma, Chen, Kristian, Niall D., and a whole host of others helped bring the project from a grand vision for a “Network-centric Middleware for GrOup communication and Resource Sharing across Heterogeneous Embedded Systems” to a neatly designed software based middleware that hides the complexity of the underlying heterogeneity of embedded systems and provided a MORE simplified API and management mechanism.

And to prove the it is neat the MORE middleware helped integrate the management of a medical process in Hungry (for doctors and patients). It helped create a virtual organisation, allowing for chronic patients to be monitored continuously by sensors and accessed via mobile devices. The middleware in turn allowed for easy access to an on-line service for the doctors, diabetes patients and patients family to react to emergency situations, but of most benefit it was found that the implement system significantly decreased the number of necessary personal encounters between the doctor and the patient.
Watch the video below for further details

The project, just like any other framework programme project has tons of deliverables, but the one I want to point you towards is the document D5.1 Test Protocol [pdf], which details the building blocks for the MORE testing framework giving third-party developers a frame to test for correctness and compatibility. It also explicitly shows the test bed infrastructure for all the end user scenarios tested during the project, which is broken down into the laboratory environment test bed and the live field testing environment. The laboratory environment is complemented by an intensive test bed for performance evaluation, consisting of real world testing as well as simulation.
Finally the project source is available for your viewing, either head over to the MORESS SourceForge page or just use svn directly

svn co mores

Digitising health records is it really going to be helpful?

September 6th, 2009

I hear again and again all the positives about eHealthcare, it’s seems to be the only way to go, which is why I’ve found this OA paper asking a very interesting question “Do Electronic Health Records Help or Hinder Medical Education?” and I wonder in the same way will electronic health records help or hinder (my) medical anaylsis in the future?
Photo Credit: JasonRogersFooDogG iraffeBee's photostream on flickr
It is becoming clear that hospitals are implementing, and in some ways are being forced to implement massive electronic health record (EHR) systems, but in this implementation are they considering the end user …. sorry I should say patients needs, wants and cares in its implementation? And what about the people entrying the data from admin staff to nurses to doctors, are their needs being considered?
On similar massive projects it simply hasn’t been the case and I do wonder!
So to the powers that be, please note the authors conclusion when it comes to the educational side of using EHR

that the mere presence of the EHR will not improve practice quality, and will not make education better or more efficient ………
………. if the EHR is used as a tool rather than an end unto itself, it will improve our education of young physicians as well as the care of our patients.