Nurse-driven community-based diabetes centre first to implement
PDA technology to monitor diabetes information.
"Whitby, Ontario.- Compaq Canada Inc., has donated $50,000.00
worth of handheld computers to the Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre
for Children and Youth, to help patients better manage their conditions
through the use of information technology.
The donation includes 40 handheld PCs, one ProLiant server, five
Armada Laptop computers, and by Labour day of this year, another
60 Pocket PCs. By then, the approximate donation will be more like
The Charles H. Best Centre for Children and Youth, has launched
a pilot project that makes use of handheld computers and software
to log patients blood sugar levels, insulin doses, exercise, meal
plans plus high and low blood sugar episodes and illness management.
To begin, 20 patients are participating. Compaq Canada Inc. and
software developer Optium Digital Solutions have donated the technology
to get the project up and running.
"Every 20 minutes someone in Ontario is diagnosed with diabetes
and resources for support are being stretched thin," says Marlene
Grass, Founder and Executive Director of the Charles H. Best Diabetes
Centre. "But a course of management exists. A recent 10 year study
(the Diabetes Control and Complications Trials) showed that people
with Type 1 diabetes have less complications when they work closely
with their health care team, reviewing the data on a regular basis.
"This program allows us to dramatically increase the amount of
patient data available to the team as well as decrease the amount
of administration time involved in collecting the data. With more
information, we can work to decrease long term complications which
in turn, dramatically lowers health care costs for the province."
"We've taken the traditional method of pen-to-paper and created
a digital format" said Nick Zamora, principal at Optium Digital
Solutions. "The information is accurate and leads to better
communication with clinical staff."
"Instead of spending 20 minutes each day on the phone,
young patients can transmit their information in seconds."
5 yr. old Jacob Chartrand uses a handheld
computer to monitor his diabetic condition.
Pictured with Jacob are: John Challinor,
Compaq Canada and Nick Zamora of Optium Digital Solutions
The information management system is composed of:
Hand held computers (e.g. Windows CE and Palm Pilots) with
a customized program for patients to enter daily glucose levels,
insulin doses, details of acute episodes and how they dealt
with the episode
A modem that attaches to the hand held computer to automatically
dial into a web site and download patient’s information to
a secure database for collation, analysis and report generation
Real time access to original results and consolidated reports
for patients, diabetes educators and other designated health
Two-way messaging so the patient can receive care management
recommendations for the diabetes educators at The Charles
H. Best Diabetes Centre
Patient information is sent by modem over regular phone lines to
a secure Website running on a Compaq ProLiant server. Clinical staff
at the Best Centre can retrieve the information via the network.
The data is password protected and stored in an encrypted form,
secured by a firewall."
From: Canadian Healthcare Technology:
"TORONTO– Mount Sinai Hospital and 3Com Canada Inc. have entered
into an agreement to study the effectiveness of Palm computer devices
in a Critical Care Unit. This is said to be the first study of its
kind to systematically evaluate the benefits of palm computers as
a medical tool.
“Handheld computing technology offers enormous potential for facilitating
medical care management, but this has not been formally studied,”
says Dr. Stephen Lapinsky, principal investigator for the research
project. “We propose to evaluate Palm computer devices in the Critical
Care Unit and develop a formal research study to assess the benefits
of this technology in the critical care setting.”
As part of the agreement, 3Com is providing Mount Sinai Hospital
with 17 Palm IIIx and technical support for the duration of the