Concept of shared data

Clinical practice today is inherently tied to the gathering of relevant patient health status information.

To obtain such information clinicians can follow multiple strategies: from simple anamnesis to more complex protocols (for example, clinical joint testing or functional analysis such as gait analysis).

This information is then usually stored on the local hospital storage system together with the diagnosis obtained from the above clinical analysis.

This procedure proved to be efficient if clinical activities and information analysis are limited to the local hospital. On the other hand, comparing local information with similar information collected in other hospitals is often difficult (such a comparison is justified for example to increase the size of statistically significant samples in the case of rare diseases).

Sharing information and clinical data collected within different clinical entities will increase the size of the available sample and will therefore improve the statistical significance of clinical studies.

The ICT4Rehab project is developing the technology to allow clinical centres and clinicians to share their data thanks to the use of a central database system and standardized reports. Mechanisms are being built to store, search and retrieve data, while respecting the anonymity of the patients. Data visualisation and data mining will also be available.

Note that the ICT4Rehab project currently focuses on one particular disorder that is Cerebral Palsy. The underlying technology will be developed keeping an eye on reusability in order to be applicable to other disorders as well with a minimal of supplementary efforts.