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Telematics brings more services to healthcare

Telematics is a large part of Europe's future in terms of technology and services, and one area that could benefit from telematics applications is the medical and health sector. With this in mind, a consortium of European researchers designed HealthLine as a way of creating an international network that improves health services via an extensive IT network.


Telematics brings together technology and information in order to improve many kinds of services and offer novel resources that benefit both European professionals and society. In fact, telematics could offer a vast array of new health services to the medical sector yet, in reality, this has not become a part of everyday practice. HealthLine aims to improve the situation by designing an international network of information and teletraining service providers that function in a standardised way via a concrete set of data and services. HealthLine also has another goal, that of minimising the disparity in terms of resources and experience between rural and central health professionals. The international network HealthLine designed, facilitates this goal as information exchange, training, and support occurs via the network by utilising the intranet scheme this consortium created. In this way, HealthLine uses telematics to benefit health professionals that could not otherwise have access to advantages widely available in central areas. In addition, HealthLine's federated network utilises the Internet to offer services such as healthcare information and teletraining. Specifically, as HealthLine was conceived as a franchise, quality assurance and technological efficiency and robustness throughout the network were primary objectives. As a result, the Greek, Italian, Irish, and Swedish researchers constructed a sophisticated and reliable Back Office engine that incorporates QA indicators, performance indicators, and common templates that support the innovative Internet services. Furthermore, HealthLine gained know-how in multimedia databases, Internet applications, Wide Area Networks (WAN), graphical user interfaces, telemedicine, Internet teleservices software, and teletraining. Moreover, as HealthLine is a service that spans many countries, it was imperative that the network and its services operate efficiently, and in a controlled, consistent and coherent manner. Within this context, HealthLine developed modular software, common procedures, policies and mechanisms, a fully working model, a knowledge base for health professionals, and a site design model that achieves standardisation. HealthLine promises to utilise telematics in an efficient and effective manner that benefits the health sector in many ways.

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