Thematic Field 2: Ubiquitous, holistic and individualized patient care
Ubiquitous Patient Care
Ubiquitous patient care is an emerging field that uses ubiquitous technologies to create a technology-oriented environment for all people involved in healthcare. Wireless or electronic data aquisitions enable physicians, healthcare professionals, healthcare agencies and scientists to provide efficient and effective treatments and healthcare services to each individual patient. Ubiquitous patient care includes various eHealth and mHealth technological solutions such as health information systems, electronic health records and patient monitoring systems for chronic disease monitoring, gait analysis, mood and fall detection, neuropathic monitoring, physiological and vital signs monitoring, pulmonogical monitoring, etc. Besides the classical eHealth technologies mobile Health (mHealth) is becoming the essential technology for future healthcare as it provides services and information via mobile technologies such as mobile phones and personal digital assistants and wearables. It is engaging patients in their own self-care. At KIT we have a strong focus on research and innovation in all technological aspects of ubiquitous patient care. One major research field is the development of intelligent wearables towards their use in mHealth.
Intelligent wearables of the future are unlikely connected to novel sophisticated biocompatible and bioinstructive materials for producing gadgets, especially for soft bioelectronic devices, implants and biochemical sensors. These devices require sophisticated circuits that connect to sensors and have at least some computing power, which is accomplished through complex procedures and other special materials.
Holistic Patient Care
In addition to ubiquitous patient care, which is based on intelligent wearables, eHealth mHealth, the holistic approach addresses the body, mind, and spirit. Additionally, it comprises all other aspects to create an individual, like personality, behavior, environment, socialization, and conditioning. New digital services and interventions are emerging that pose new challenges and require adaptations for patients, users and service providers. However, little is known about how this change affects social interactions, emotional experience, motivation, or human behavior. The interdisciplinary research team at KIT is concerned with describing and developing approaches for productively shaping digital transformation. We conduct intervention studies to examine the associations of physical activity with motor performance and cognitive health in older adults with dementia. We have a strong expertise in real-time compliance monitoring, and on data analyses for multiple studies which assess momentary mechanisms in daily life, monitor illness trajectories over months and years, and provide mHealth interventions. Together with our technological partner movisens, we developed a unique system of connected assessment tools with real-time analysis and feedback capabilities.
Individualized Patient Care
Even if two different persons are diagnosed with the same disease due to their individual overall health state they may react differently to a particular treatment. Dosages, diets, methods of treatment, etc. will vary for each person depending on their unique genetic and even more important epigenetic profile, their biochemistry, sensitivities, allergies and needs on all levels. In addition, also holistic aspects such as life style and socioeconomic issues play an important role to design a patient centered health care and treatments to each indiviual patient (patient centered care (PCC). At KIT we focus on several aspects of individualized patient care including research on personalized medicine, theranostic devices and technologies. With our real world labs we support the direct contact of researchers to patients and the society.