There are many reasons why standards and interoperability are not in place yet. With the advance in healthcare and research, the care of most health conditions has become more complicated, due to more sophisticated treatments and more complex investigations. This leads to more “islands” of technological equipment, information and information systems supporting them.
As we live longer, we accumulate more long-term conditions which are treated by different medical teams. There is a need for a comprehensive picture on a patient’s health and care history. This will help making safe and effective decisions and avoid duplicating tests or repeating previously failed treatments.
The ultimate goal is personalised medicine. In order for this to become a reality, every health professional treating a patient needs to have a complete and detailed patient health picture. Currently, doctors treating a patient often duplicate tests and may at times prescribe conflicting medication which is a burden on healthcare budgets, wastes the patient’s time and may harm his or her health.
There is an increasing demand by consumers for an interoperability friendly environment. Yet still there is a lack of pressure by governments to make this a reality and some Industry partners are still more or less ignorant of the importance and benefits of how to do interoperability.