Blog

21st June 2016

Saving Lives with Smarter Virtual Health

At TM Forum Live! this May in Nice, TEOCO, along with innovative operators Telecom Italia and TeliaSonera and leading vendors Netcracker, Wipro and CanGo, demonstrated a Catalyst* called E2E Service Orchestration for Smarter Health to help communication service providers evolve beyond traditional services and revenue streams. This is part of TM Forum’s Smart Health programme that is driving the intelligent use of digital technology to enable better health with anywhere patient-centric care.

Smarter Medical Services
In emergency healthcare, CSP operations management expertise can be combined with the health expertise of partners for a vertically integrated health and communication eco-system that provides important lifesaving services. By providing new digital medical health services that effectively manage and monitor patients remotely, CSPs expand their advanced IoT offerings and can contribute to saving lives.

For this ‘smarter medical service’, patients provide their own wearable or other digital medical device to measure blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar levels and other vital personal health information. The device data is transmitted wirelessly, remotely collected, analyzed and monitored. If irregularities are noted, actions are taken based on the condition of the patient. For example, with a less severe condition, an unexpected response might not require immediate human intervention, but it might be decided that measurements need to be taken more frequently or monitored more closely. For a more severe condition or symptom – an ambulance could be immediately sent to the location of the patient. Optional services include an SOS button to request urgent medical care or perhaps a video call to check in with a doctor.

 To deliver this type of service requires multiple providers.  Clearly there needs to be knowledgeable medical personnel, who can analyze the findings gathered from the sensor data and make a decision on how best to respond. Then there is the operations side, where a digital call center would manage the coordination of medical teams and emergency services. CSPs provide value by ensuring a reliable data connection and transfer of data. This means policy-based mobile care orchestration, dynamic quality of service (QoS) policies, policy-based backhaul route orchestration (physical and virtual) and predictive capacity analysis.

Orchestrating Digital Health Services

Orchestrating Digital Health Services
This project shared how to provide the end-to-end remote monitoring of patients using varying QoS levels and how to build a specialized operations center for healthcare services. CSPs provide significant value here with their experience in large-scale operations.

The project team showed how such a medical operations center or a digital services operations center could work, including some of the systems and processes to use. The management systems for a specialized operations center must work with the operator’s OSS/BSS, so the technical focus of the project was on the cross-vertical cooperation among all the systems. We proposed that the digital services be composed of sub-services (micro-services) where each customer can purchase a different set of services. The collaboration between the medical systems and the OSS systems then takes into account the micro-services of the particular customer.

To illustrate this smarter health service in real life scenarios, the project team shared a few use cases as part of the Catalyst demonstration.

Scenario 1: Medical Alert
The condition of the patient is getting worse and help is required. The remote device sends results to a medical application on the cloud. An alert is sent to ‘medical operations’. (These systems are similar to typical OSS systems to manage CSP issues.) The care provider gets notification that care is required. The CSP checks if policy changes are required and if needed, the change is made, potentially allocating the needed resources. On the service assurance side, they show the service operations center (SOC) specific KPIs that show the quality of service for this patient. If there is a problem with quality of care, they adjust.

Figure 1 - Technical Flow for Medical Alert

Figure 1 – Technical Flow for Medical Alert

Scenario 2: Emergency Medical Transport
The patient is being monitored at home and based on data analysis, a decision is made that the patient needs to be transported to a specific hospital. The correct hospital with the right facilities and the right route to follow is determined. The route ensures the ambulance has high QoS data connectivity so the paramedic can perform the necessary health monitoring or medical procedures. The data connection at the time the patient is in the ambulance is optimized to guarantee the right bandwidth, at the right time, at the right place.

Figure 2 - Technical Flow for Emergency Medical Transport

Figure 2 – Technical Flow for Emergency Medical Transport

Watch Yuval Stein, Assistant Vice President of Product Management, TEOCO, and a leader of the project explain what the team is learning in this Catalyst project.  Next the team may be exploring how to ensure end-to-end SLA parameters with multi-verticals, how to bill for services, steps for determining the cost of service and who owns it, and will the ecosystem support this?

*Catalysts are innovative proof of concept projects based on industry best practices and standards. They connect service providers, suppliers and enterprises to innovate solutions to important industry challenges by building real life scenarios.

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