The Promise Of Real-Time Health Systems

Paul Clark

Wearable technology is showing immense promise in the evolving healthcare industry. One aspect quickly being transformed by technology is a patient’s personal health record. Current electronic health records (EHRs) only collect clinical data about patients while they are in medical facilities. Now, according to Connected Care: The Digital Pulse of Global Healthcare, sensor data collected from wearable devices can be combined with EHR systems to create something called a real-time health system (RTHS).

An RTHS can converge new and existing technologies that currently may not be effectively connected. According to a recent HPE article, here’s how an RTHS works: it collects data from sensors connected through the Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT), analyzes the data to identify clinically relevant indicators and trends, integrates those findings into EHR systems, and then uses the native capabilities of mobile devices to provide immediate feedback to medical staff and patients.

As a result, an RTHS can provide better situational awareness of the patient’s overall health condition – even between hospital or clinic visits, where traditionally there have been gaps in EHR-recorded care.

The challenges of disconnected health records

EHRs connected to an RTHS could give medical staff the ability to have up-to-date patient health records at the point of care – whether that’s at a hospital, a doctor’s office, or a retail medical clinic. This works well in an ideal world. But in reality, many healthcare providers are still saddled with paper-based medical records dispersed across various medical facilities and monitoring systems. According to the Connected Care eBook, some individual hospitals even have hundreds of various information systems, which compound the complex challenge of integrating a patient’s records and data.

Overcoming the obstacles to connected care

Cloud-based EHRs and connected health platforms can help healthcare providers get over the hurdle of complex patient data. A recent Infosys whitepaper identifies the need for cloud-based EHRs that are more flexible and intuitive to allow healthcare partnerships to collaborate and access patient information immediately.

Cloud-based EHR and RTHS applications can integrate valuable data from across many systems in order to give doctors immediate access to overall patient information as well as the ability to drill down to more specific patient care history anytime, anywhere, on any device. This will help healthcare providers and patients realize the promise of RTHS in the evolution toward truly connected healthcare.

For an in-depth look at how technology is changing the face of healthcare, download the SAP eBook Connected Care: The Digital Pulse of Global Healthcare.

See how the digital era is affecting the business environment in the SAP eBook The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Discover the driving forces behind digital transformation in the SAP eBook Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.


About Paul Clark

Paul Clark is the Senior Director of Technology Partner Marketing at SAP. He is responsible for developing and executing partner marketing strategies, activities, and programs in joint go-to-market plans with global technology partners. The goal is to increase opportunities, pipeline, and revenue through demand generation via SAP's global and local partner ecosystems.