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F. J. Grehn, M. Schargus; The EGS Glaucocard Project: Improved Digital Documentation of Medical Data for Glaucoma Patients Based on Standardized Cross-National Datasets and Development of a Teleconsultation Framework for Glaucoma Specialists. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):2393.
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To evaluate existing international IT-based ophthalmological medical data projects and to define different stages of glaucoma data sets on existing international standards of medical and ophthalmological documentation. To develop the technical environment for easy data mining and data exchange in different countries in Europe and to build a teleconsultation system.
Existing clinical and IT-based projects for documentation of medical data in ophthalmology (e.g. OPTHEL, ICD, SNOMED, LOINC, IEE, EGS guidelines) were analyzed to create new data sets for medical documentation in glaucoma patients. Different types of data transfer methods were evaluated to find the best way of data exchange between ophthalmologists in different European countries and to create a glaucoma specialists teleconsultation system.
Data sets from existing IT projects showed a wide variability in specifications, use of codes, terms and graphical data (perimetry, optic nerve analysis etc.) in glaucoma patients. New digital datasets for glaucoma patients were defined based on existing standards with different levels of specification which can be used from general ophthalmologists for follow up examinations and for glaucoma specialists to perform teleconsultation also across country borders. Datasets are available in English, German, Spanish, Italian and Flemish. Different types of data exchange methods using secure medical data transfer by internet, USB stick and smartcard were tested for different countries regarding legal acceptance, practicability and technical realization (e.g. compatibility with EMR-systems).
By creating new glaucoma specific cross-national datasets it is now possible to develop an electronic glaucoma patient record system for data storage and transfer based on internet, smartcard or USB stick. The digital data can be used in referrals and for teleconsultation of glaucoma specialists for optimizing glaucoma treatment. This should lead to an increase of quality in glaucoma care and prevent expenses in health care costs by unnecessary re-examinations.
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