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Healthcare IT helps ease PTSD

October 02, 2012
Uncategorized By LW Consulting Inc.

The Department of Veteran's Affairs partnered with the Fujitsu Laboratories of America (FLA) to find a way to ease the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for the nation's veterans, according to a Fujitsu press release.

The California technology company and the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System (VAPAHCS) are using FLA monitoring technology to track and understand the triggers for PTSD that occur while individuals are driving.

According to the release, veterans returning home from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan tend to have higher accident rates and can experience difficulties adjusting back to normal driving. Traumatic experiences, such as improvised explosive devices on roads, can lead to driving being a PTSD trigger for veterans.

Using remote monitoring technology, officials are able to monitor heart rate and respiration with vehicle data, such as speed, braking and steering. Additionally, vehicle sensors register factors on the road that could possibly trigger symptoms of PTSD.

"This improved technology has enabled us to dramatically reduce the in-car IT footprint during our research project," Dr. Steve Woodward, the principal investigator of the study at VAPAHCS, said in the press release. "This has streamlined our data collection and analysis and enabled us to focus on novel treatment solutions."

The data streams will be analyzed to further understand the causes for PTSD and potentially help healthcare officials design treatment plans that will alleviate the symptoms. 

Woodward and Fujitsu said in the press release that the program has been underway for a while now, but new technology has helped improve data synchronization and analysis.

Remote monitoring is just one example of how healthcare IT consulting is becoming more necessary in today's medical facilities. Systems are being upgraded for EMR technology and e-prescribing software. As such, hospital consultants will need to be brought on to ensure that the transition runs as smoothly as possible.