Judicious use of medicines, medical investigations, surgical interventions and follow-up care in health care is fundamental to high-quality health care delivery. There are several barriers to disseminate medical practice guidelines to health care professionals to ensure such judicious practice in health care. The vast number of health care professionals, different levels of training of health care professionals, multiple providers (public, private), language barriers etc are some of the barriers. Advances in information and communication technology is a potential solution for addressing many of these challenges

For example, software applications can compute personalized management plan for patients, considering various clinical parameters such as age, severity of the conditions, pregnancy, co-existing disease conditions etc. A structured format for assessing the patient though computerized prompts will help the physicians to do the clinical evaluation without loopholes. Using these inputs the software application can compute the management plan using the most recent medical practice guideline. Such computerized decision support software systems (CDSS) has been tried in the developed countries for specific conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. However, the feasibility and effectiveness such computerized systems are yet to be formally evaluated in India.

Datatemplate is developing a software solution for Public Health Foundation of India for the use of Physicians in Public Health Hospitals of Andhra Pradesh to promote high quality care for hypertension patients. This novel software is capable of computing medications as per the latest Indian Hypertension Management Guidelines. In addition, the software will compute laboratory investigations, life-style interventions, referral suggestion and follow-up plan in accordance with the clinical profile of the patient. This internet-capable software will also leave a copy of the patient details in a central server which can be retrieved by the physician for subsequent follow-up visits thereby enabling sound follow-up care. The evaluation of the software is currently being carried out in Andhra Pradesh.

m-health Decision Support Systems

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