Interview with Florian Lupfer-Kusenberg, CEO, Tunstall GmbH
Nowadays, everyone has access to his stored data and is able to work with them on different devices – thanks to the cloud. By now, online data storage plays a role in medicine as well: patient data can be collected digitally and centrally, authorized personnel can access it to make the fastest and best patient care possible.
In the interview with MEDICA-tradefair.com, Florian Lupfer-Kusenberg explains how telehealthcare is able to relief physicians, the current networking trend and how telehealth devices for the domestic use can be designed to appeal to patients.
Mr Lupfer-Kusenberg, what is the potential of telehealthcare in relieving doctors and staff in your eyes?
Florian Lupfer-Kusenberg: The processing, utilization and availability of medical data through the use of IT-based technology is a great relief for doctors and staff. You get regular feedback on the state of the patient’s health and not only in the case of an acute disease. This makes it possible to detect diseases earlier and ultimately enables an early intervention. All information is stored in one place and always accessible for authorized persons. Through better organization and cross-linking of the data there is also more time for the actual care.
But telehealthcare not only facilitates the daily work of doctors and nurses. A study by the British Ministry of Health has given around 31 million pounds, about 37 million euro, for the "WSD" program (Whole System Demonstrator) which aims to evaluate what telehealth and telecare can mean for chronically ill and the socially needy. Thus, evidence material was created which shows that telehealth and telecare promote health and independence of people, improve the quality of life of people who are chronically ill and in need of care and reduce the cost pressures on the health system in the long term.
Networking currently is a big buzzword - how well can hospital and practice information systems from different manufacturers be connected with mobile devices on patients? Are there standards?
Lupfer-Kusenberg: For the telemedical field there is no standard interface for data exchange yet, which can be compared to those which already exist in the hospital area with HL7 or DICOM. Thus, each manufacturer offers his own specific solution. But we do not want to create a new Tunstall interface but provide a defined interface (API) for interaction with our telehealth solutions through which you can very easily get data from and integrate data into the very easily.
Tunstall provides devices like the telehealth Monitor "MyMedic II" which patients at home can use to capture their symptoms. What does one have to consider here in terms of the design, so that patients feel comfortable with the device and doctors are able to obtain useful data?
Lupfer-Kusenberg: The MyMedic II monitor is a telemedical patient monitor from Tunstall which is certified according to the European Medical Device Directive CE and was developed under the ISO 13485 quality management system. The monitor itself is very user-friendly, unobtrusive and easy to handle with its high-resolution color touch display and additional large buttons. The information shown on the device can also be "tailored" to the user so that vital signs and symptoms are tailored to the individual needs of the patient. Experience shows that the users themselves get more and more interested in the measured data over time and thus concerns himself more intense with his usually chronical disease. Should a measurement be forgotten, the monitor discreetly reminds the user to acquire the data.