Redefining telemedicine as a routine clinical practice

IMG_0229Next week I’ll be visiting with healthcare customers and partners in Europe, specifically in the UK, Sweden and Holland. I frequently come back from these trips marveling over some of the innovation I see in clinical practice and healthcare delivery. This is particularly true in how many organizations are using information communications technology (ICT) to provide greater access to care while holding down healthcare costs.

One such example comes from Germany where the Asklepios Future Hospital Program is redefining how citizens around the world will access healthcare services. They make an excellent case on the future of telemedicine—a future where telemedicine becomes so much the norm that we don’t even call it out as something special.

Working with a consortium of partners including Microsoft and Vodaphone, Asklepios envisions a future where collaborative care is made possible anytime and anywhere the patient happens to be. Central to making this possible is a “networked cross-linked personal health record 2.0“ that has been developed by Asklepios and its partners DLR, Microsoft and Vodafone within the Asklepios Future Hospital Program. The approach taken puts the patient at the center (via Microsoft HealthVault) and sets new standards in the implementation of data security, mobile availability and easy communication processes targeted at the medical practice. 

HealthBlog readers know that I am a champion for citizen health record solutions that aggregate data around the patient and give the patient control over how that data is shared and with whom.  I believe this is the most logical, affordable and scalable solution for health information sharing and exchange globally.

Asklepios has produced a video (translated into English) that explains how they and their partners view the opportunity to scale telemedicine and mHealth services to provide greater access to clinical guidance and care to more people around the globe. They make a very good case for a future where telemedicine is just another routine tool that clinicians use to provide high quality services and care to their patients.  

Asklepios Future Hospital Program

Bill Crounse, MD                         Senior Director, Worldwide Health          Microsoft


Comments (2)

  1. Alan says:

    I am due to sit in on one of your visits to Europe. I have already made a comment on your blog about "Making the Case for Health IT and Electronic Health Records". What we must not forget is that healthcare is both highly political and big business. Healthcare IT is a tough challenge in the base case, when you add the political and profit dimensions good ideas and sound strategies can easily become suppressed by other interests. I will be interested to listen to what you have to say, and hopefully can help contribute to a lively discussion.

  2. Scott Grove says:

    Interesting story. Here is a release on ESC's attempt to standardize medical training and certification among European cardiologists.

    New Website To Standardize Cardiac Educational Training Throughout Europe

    A recently launched European website is the first in the world to address the challenges of internationally harmonized medical education and certification. The dynamic new online education platform commissioned by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and developed by Enforme Interactive, will provide consistent, standardized education and testing to its 75,000 members across 52 countries. European medical leaders are convinced that standardized medical training will result in a higher quality of care for cardiac patients across the continent.

    ESC, the non-profit association founded in 1950, based in Sophia-Antipolis, France, is dedicated to reducing cardiovascular disease through physician education. “European health care leaders have grappled for years with the variance in medical training and certification among cardiologists that occurs from nation to nation,” said Eric Delente, co-owner of Enforme Interactive, one of the largest providers of web technologies for medical and scientific associations in the U.S.  “Our assignment was to develop a learning platform that would respond to the complex and multi-faceted educational and certification needs of ESC’s international membership – yet designed in a manner that would be highly user friendly.”  

    Delente and his team responded with the development of the ESC eLearning Platform, which provides for the training and certification needs across six cardiology subspecialties: acute cardiac care, echocardiography, heart failure, heart rhythm, percutaneous interventions, and prevention and rehabilitation.

    ESCeL will provide cardiologists with the online coursework, study materials, and examinations required for international certification across Europe. The site will also allow physicians to demonstrate their practical clinical experiences and professional skills through online case logbooks and patient safety journals, another requirement for certification. These and other logged clinical experiences will then be reviewed and approved at the local, national and European levels using a sophisticated workflow approval management engine, developed by Enforme.

    Delente said that two of the six cardio subspecialty groups are currently using the site with one or more groups expected to join in by year end. “There is a massive effort underway to add more content to the site. Currently, all the educational content is offered in English, but it will soon support the big five European languages and potentially, later, some languages

    To visit the ESC educational portal, visit  

    To see a demonstration of its use, visit  

    To learn more about Enforme Interactive, visit,

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