Ars Semantica provides consulting and development services for e-health in the following key areas.
The open health computing platform, based on open, integrated specifications for health data, content and process is the key to getting value from IT in healthcare. An open platform gives healthcare providers a way to avoid procuring massively expensive, inflexible lock-in solutions, and instead procure incrementally, openly and adaptively.
There are many reasons to introduce an open health platform for a country.
To start with, no single company – not even a GE or an IBM – can do everything. Additionally, many of the best innovations routinely come from small companies focussed on a specific problem, e.g. secondary analytics or computerised guidelines. With no reliable platform, those small companies typically implement poor quality data platform components that are not scalable or clinically safe, or else they sell their solution into a private ecosystem, e.g. Microsoft HealthVault, or else are simply bought by a much bigger vendor.
Even big vendors are now interested in platforms, because the data are now recognised to hold the main business and consumer value - there is no escape from the need to work with data partners and to reduce obstacles to data coming into any given healthcare enterprise IT environment. This represents a complete reversal of priority for some vendors.
The general situation for procuring providers can be greatly improved in a platform environment. Today, they are still mostly obliged to procure monolithic single-vendor solutions, which cost inordinate amounts of money, and deprive them of any influence or control in the long run – they end up as investors in the monolithic solution vendor’s technology, not their own needs. In a platform economy, this is turned on its head – providers have the power to purchase things that will work together, and to do so incrementally.
The main goal for healthcare providers and patients in terms of IT is to support clinical care process, across teams, enterprises and time. We have worked on helthcare workflow projects at Intermountain Healthcare and openEHR Foundation, including creating a new specification (Task Planning) for the latter.
Thomas Beale has led the use principles from ontology and epistemology as a basis for the semantic architecture of openEHR. The result is closer to the conceptual world of its users, i.e. clinical professionals, and avoids being trapped in naive and inflexible textbook information modelling.