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Telemedicine – now

Remote Analysis offers easy-to-use, cost-efficient solutions for simplifying the diagnosis of a number of common medical disorders, such as sleep apnea, cardiac arrhythmia, and hypertension. The Remote Analysis telemedicine system eliminates the barriers dividing primary and specialist care and is already helping hundreds of health care professionals on a daily basis.

Thanks to the growing range of diagnostic tools being developed as part of the Remote Analysis telemedicine system, attending physicians now have a practical and affordable means for diagnosing the health of their patients more easily and more extensively than ever before. The system eliminates the need to refer patients to specialists in many cases and makes the expertise of specialists available when needed in a very cost-efficient way for primary care units.

The Remote Analysis telemedicine system consists of easy-to-use devices, a secure communication system linking professionals in the field and at hospitals, and sophisticated browserbased analysis software. The system has been designed from the start with user-friendliness, fail-safe operations, and scalability in mind – and means that it is just as easy to introduce it for a network of a handful of physicians and specialists as it is for a hospital district or dozens of clinics nationwide.

In Finland, the Remote Analysis telemedicine system already serves more than 120 clinics, health centres, and occupational health care facilities; and the company channels some 10,000 specialist consultation reports to patients and GPs annually.

Easy for everyone

Getting a system up and running is simple. An attending physician or a primary care unit can purchase affordable CE- and FDA -approved registration devices from Remote Analysis and team up with specialists to provide expert reports for their patients – or an individual consultant physician or specialist clinic can provide Remote Analysis devices to their primary care referral partners.

A patient wears a device for a certain period of time and returns it to the primary care clinic at the end of the monitoring period. Data registered by devices is encrypted and sent anonymously to a specialist for analysis. The system will then make the consultant physician’s report available online to the attending doctor for the latter to advice on further treatment.

The ease, speed, and cost-effectiveness of this approach are obvious. Patients and specialists no longer have to travel to the same location to meet up during the initial phase of diagnosis, and no heavy investment or complicated implementation project are needed to get a system running. Operating costs are also low, as charges are tied to actual usage and number of users.

The Remote Analysis telemedicine system opens up a completely new way for GPs and primary care units to network with specialists, and one that offers clear benefits to all involved.

Patients gain faster access to treatment, GPs can serve their patients better by offering a wider range of diagnostics, while specialists can handle a larger number of patients, and health care systems can get more out of their resources and infrastructure.

Seamless and secure

Remote Analysis has developed its telemedicine system in close cooperation with medical experts and IT specialists. The system is based on a Linux platform and a fail-safe cluster. Data security is state-of-the-art and all users are identified with certificates once registered in the system. No personal patient data is sent over the net, and the reports produced by specialists, who analyse this data with the aid of browser-based analysis software, are processed anonymously.

Sleep Aid makes it easy to determine whether someone is suffering from sleep apnea and should consult a doctor by recording snoring sounds and generating an easy-to-read graph of snoring events. Users can also listen to their breathing and snoring patterns. Sleep Aid includes samples of typical snoring and sleep apnea events for comparison purposes.

Check your iPhone if you think you’re snoring

Working with Qvik Ltd. and medical specialists in the field of sleep apnea diagnostics, Remote Analysis recently launched its first iPhone application, for recording and analysing snoring and sleep apnea.

Known as Sleep Aid, the application is available worldwide via the iTunes App Store and can be used by the man or women in the street to monitor if their partner is snoring or if anyone else is for that matter too.

Sleep Aid makes it easy to determine whether someone is suffering from sleep apnea and should consult a doctor by recording snoring sounds and generating an easy-to-read graph of snoring events. Users can also listen to their breathing and snoring patterns. Sleep Aid includes samples of typical snoring and sleep apnea events for comparison purposes.

The application makes it simple to:

  • Record snoring
  • Generate easy-to-read graphs of snoring patterns
  • Play back what someone’s snoring sounds like
  • Access a library of snoring and sleep apnea samples, and
  • Read useful information on sleep apnea.

Remember, however, that only a doctor can make a diagnosis. Always consult a physician when you think you may be suffering from a medical condition.

> Timo Hakkarainen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)