Doctors at Israel’s Shneider Medical Center go over a patients records using the dbMotion system.When an American visits his family doctor, the patient’s medical file can be easily retrieved from a database at the office or clinic. But what happens when the person goes to an outside specialist? Or if she’s injured in a traffic accident and must receive emergency care at a hospital unaware of her medical history?
Israeli company dbMotion claims to have developed the solution to this medical tower of Babel. An Internet information highway for collecting and distributing medical data in the computerized systems of the health system, the dbMotion system has many implications that will save the health system time and money: up-to-date information received by the doctor about the medical history of the patient; management information distributed to the organization’s executive; decision support tools; prevents double and unnecessary testing for patients, in some cases it can also save lives.
In most cases in today’s medical world, the patient bears full responsibility for the transfer of information about them. He or she must bring the information about their problem to the specialist, and inform the hospital doctors of their medical history, the tests they have undergone, and their allergies to certain drugs. Even in cases where the patient can recall his or her entire medical record, it is extremely likely that the hospital doctors will play it safe by sending the patient for tests that he or she has already been through.
This lack of synchronization costs the global health system huge sums every year. Some of this is due to the need to preserve medical confidentiality, but the most important cause is lack of cooperation between different medical organizations. Not only are resources wasted, but the lack of timely information causes doctors to make mistakes.
The dbMotion solution enables clinical information to be gathered from disparate and distributed computer systems to create a complete medical picture of a patient, on demand and in real-time. This comprehensive medical picture contains the patient’s entire medical history, including test results, treatments administered, hospitalizations, patient complaints, etc.
“Almost every hospital has its own language, and within hospitals, there are different systems unable to communicate with the other systems,” dbMotion CEO Ziv Ofek told Globes. “With our platform, when the user asks for information, the system knows from which sub-system to obtain the information, and how to connect it with the other systems, and display it in a uniform language.”
The dbMotion product is already deployed in Israel’s Clalit Health Services – the world’s second largest health fund – where it links 14 hospitals, 1200 clinics and dispensaries and 80 laboratories. And according to marketing director Ilan Freedman, the system it totally adaptable to the American health field.
“What we’ve found on the product side is that given our product is a solution, which is tailored and implemented to specific environment of our customers, its functionality for the U.S. is already there – it doesn’t require an engineering changes,” Freedman told ISRAEL21c.
“The American market is a target of ours and we’re now gearing up activities to enter the market. We’ve conducted research and focus groups to find the segment which is more relevant to our product as well as understand if any variations are needed to our product. We’ve established a good understanding of the market – specifically that we can provide a tremendous amount of value to the American health care system. There’s a lot of momentum in healthcare IT now and our unique solution has value within that framework,” Freedman added.
dbMotion was founded in March 2004 as a spin-off of the Ness ISI Division of Ness Technologies. At its inception, $6 million were invested in the company by the Vertex and Pitango capital venture funds. The company has 75 employees, with offices in Ra’anana and Beersheva.
At the beginning of August, Microsoft Israel announced plans to assist dbMotion to penetrate strategic markets around the world. Microsoft Israel CEO Arie Scope said that Microsoft has decided to promote the dbMotion solution for the integration of clinical information in the US and Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and other European countries through Microsoft’s offices worldwide.
One of the markets the two companies seek to collaborate in is the UK, which is currently in the midst of setting up a national medical record and a market in which Microsoft’s technologies are widely used. This is the largest IT project ever undertaken, estimated initially at $11.24 billion.
“The system is internet-based and enables doctors, nurses, members of the medical
staff, members of the administrative staff and any other job function in the medical system to view complete and up-to-date information at the point-of-care,” Ofek told the website Enet. “For example, when a patient arrives to a hospital ER, the caring physicians are compelled to make do with what the patient knows and says about his medical condition in order to provide the appropriate care. Mainly, does he have any allergies, is he sensitive to certain medication, what kinds of procedures or operations has he had etc.
“With our system, the physician simply types-in the patient’s ID number and immediately receives a complete and up-to-date picture of the patient’s medical history, from all of the different systems, even if the patient is being cared for in another district, hospital or family clinic.”
And what better test field for the dbMotion system has there been than Israel’s Clalit Health Fund. Clalit is a decentralized organization that provides services to approximately 3.7 million clients through 14 hospitals, 1,200 clinics and medical centers, 80 medical labs and 35 imaging institutions. The organization employs approximately 5,500 doctors, 8,500 nurses, 1,500 lab technicians, 1,000 pharmacists, 1,800 medical experts and 4,500 administrators, each of which can create medical data and, more importantly, request up-to-date data about patients.
The medical information systems in the organization differ from one another and lack unification between the systems and the various centers utilizing them.
dbMotion’s solution is installed in most of Clalit Health Services’ hospitals and in most districts (each district controls clinics, labs and institutes), and provides up-to-date information at the point of care. The system has thousands of users and has required minimal investment in training and implementation. According to a Clalit spokesman, the solution has contributed to the efficiency of processes and to the improvement in quality and availability of medical information, all this at minimum maintenance.
One of the problems in the field which dbMotion addresses is medical confidentiality, especially concern over the creation of a single large medical database, which could be misused by commercial entities. DbMotion explains that its platform provides information that ‘vanishes’ after the collection process is finished, without creating an external database. All information collected in the process is stored in its place, not transferred to a new data storage location. Another way of dealing with medical confidentiality is to grant every user separate authorization, while limiting the quantity of information provided, according to the authorization.
According to marketing director Freedman, it’s only a matter of time before the American health system will realize the need for a tracking system like dbMotion’s.
“Only 13% of Americans have some form of electronic documentation of their medical records. 87% either have nothing or non-electronic documentation, Xeroxed sheets and forms from their GP. The American public deserves not to lag behind when they’re spending more on health care than anyone else. And once they do have electronic records, there will still be the challenge of getting that information from one point to another. That’s where dbMotion can help.”
(Based on a report in Globes)