On 17 January 2018, the internationally announced Living Standards Award was presented for the fourth time in Vienna. The prize honours exemplary participation in the standardisation and use of standards and is awarded to five favourites by an international jury of experts. Anton Dunzendorfer’s team from the Digital Health Information Systems Competence Unit of the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology was honoured for its consistent implementation of standards in telehealth applications. This enables us to seamlessly and securely integrate measuring devices for blood sugar, blood pressure, body weight, oxygen saturation, etc. used by people with chronic illnesses. Peter Kastner (Thematic Coordinator at AIT) commented: “By taking standards into account, it is possible to integrate various measuring sensors from different manufacturers in a standardised way via a device management system and to transfer the measured values simply and securely into a health app on the smartphone directly after recording. The data is then synchronized with a central server to which the attending physician has access”.
The AIT is regarded as a driving force for innovation in the Austrian healthcare sector when it comes to implementing new telehealth applications for the care of people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, cardiac insufficiency or high blood pressure. In particular, the active support of often elderly people in the long-term therapy process is in focus. The IT services developed for this purpose (“DiabMemory”, “HerzMobil”, “DiabCare”, etc.), together with specific therapy management programs, enable a simple and new type of dialogue between doctors, health and care professionals and patients. “In the Health Dialogue of the Insurance Institution for Railways and Mining (VAEB), in which data from a wide range of terminal devices is recorded, we are thus offering users support for self-control and behavioural change,” says Kurt Völkl, General Director of VAEB, a long-standing partner of AIT in the cooperation within the framework of telehealth services.
The AIT takes standards into account from the outset of innovative developments to ensure sustainable use of the technologies. Here, AIT is relying on standardisation initiatives such as the Personal Connected Health Alliance, the NFC Forum and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. This ensures the seamless integration of measuring sensors from different manufacturers and interoperability across system boundaries and prepares for ELGA compatibility. The digital interaction between people and technology should contribute to a sustainable improvement in health care.