Innovative applications of information and communication technology are becoming increasingly important for the advancement of life science. The ability to use and manage information and communication resources in new ways is a signifi cant and critical part of many of the breakthrough results of life science.
Alkit Communications is a research and development company aiming at the creation of advanced information and communication solutions for life science.
Well organized information, based on well defi ned information structures, are critical to draw the right conclusions to reach new knowledge. This is achieved by developing conceptual models capturing the semantics of information. One example of this is the individual oriented patient process in health care, where different specialist units, primary care units, municipality units, the individual and relatives have to cooperate to deliver a goal oriented and high quality care. In this context, the possibility to draw correct conclusions from the treatment of large numbers of patients is a source for new knowledge. This is an example of how well defi ned and structured information makes it possible to interpret and draw conclusions from large amounts of data. Alkit Communications has been an important player in developing the fi rst version of the Swedish information structure for care and nursing commissioned by the National Board of Health and Welfare.
Different types of medical equipment produce a lot of different kinds of data which must be collected, represented, stored and communicated between different systems in order to compile a coherent view of a patient’ complete situation. This is needed to get a relevant information overview and an overall picture, to defi ne adequate activities to infl uence the condition for the patient. Well defi ned information structures and components, supporting the entire health care process of the patient, have been developed by Alkit Communications in order to manage situations with patients having multiple diseases.
The dramatic improvements of computer networks over the last few years have made it possible to design completely new solutions for life science, based on video mediated components and e-health services for home cared patients. One example of this, explored by Alkit Communications, is in the area of neurorehabilitation of stroke patients in the home. Based on Alkit’s technology, a therapist can remotely support patients carrying out rehabilitation activities at home, using real time videomediated communication in combination with specialized video games components based on depth camera technology designed for rehabilitation training. Data about the patient’s performance can be continuously collected and analyzed by the therapist, to monitor the progress of the rehabilitation. The therapist can also remotely participate in the training to give advice and study the patient’s condition directly.
Alkit Communications develops advanced solutions for teleconsultations and remote diagnostics over large geographical distances, for patients with different medical conditions, involving both primary care units and specialist units in hospitals. The solutions developed by Alkit are based on high quality video-mediated communication in combination with medical data sharing and collaboration support. Key issues in the design of these systems are integration with different kinds of medical equipment and the ability to customize the systems to the work processes of each telemedical application.
Alkit has for many years delivered solutions to support collaboration between major hospitals in Sweden in the area of pediatric cardiology. This includes multipoint face-to-face communication support in combination with ultrasound and angiography in real time with high quality.
Alkit Communications is also helping cardiology heart centers, such as the Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, Sahlgrenska Academy, to build tools to train cardiologists in collecting high quality information for the so called Quality Registries. The Quality Registries store structured information of what treatments have been given to large numbers of patients. The aim is to create new knowledge about treatment strategies of new and existing methods.
Alkit Communications has developed computer based training tools in the neuroscience fi eld for patients with neurological damages of the brain. The patient can practice compensation strategies to improve everyday functions and abilities after brain damages caused for instance by accidents. The tools can be adapted to the specifi c brain damages of a specific individual to optimize the training performed by the individual. Based on this work, Alkit Communications is now creating new applications that can support individuals who have diagnoses related to neuropsychiatric disabilities like Asperger’s syndrome to manage the everyday activities of the individual. The tools can also support actors around the individual to improve the management of different kinds of activities, and provide support strategies for unexpected situations. Actors around the individual can for instance be relatives, teachers, employers, coaches, doctors or therapists, who can support the individual both in the professional life and privately.
Alkit is currently also heavily involved in the development of applications and collaboration solutions supporting industrial development and manufacturing processes of life science equipment for infection control.
Altogether, the different research and development endeavors outlined above promise many new and exciting opportunities for the future advancement of information and communication support for life science applications.