The avatar is a highly individualised metaphor. The information accessible from the avatar is a life-long record of the individual citizen that offers an useful input to doctors and helps them to carry out personalised healthcare for individuals and groups (women, children, etc);
The integrated ICT toolbox of the avatar system offers the power of predictive diagnosis and treatment through access to the predictive models and data analysis tools. The use of these tools shows the quantified progress of the patient and promotes a better modulation of treatment and a faster recovery. These improve the reliability, repeatability and timeliness of medical decisions and interventions.
The integrated ICT toolboxes allow access to a set of integrative models, data analysis tools and a comprehensive collection of datasets to support clinical decisions. The integrative approach allows the clinicians to take into account multiple aspects that are influential to health, addressing the complexities in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment selection from the rising number of patients with multiple morbidities.
MyHealthAvatar features the adaptation of a range of latest ICT technology with the aim of improving the effectiveness of the systems and enhancing patient engagement. This provides a new dimension in healthcare and enhances the sustainability of healthcare systems for dealing with challenges such as the increasingly ageing population in Europe.
As a result of this ageing of the population, healthcare and associated social welfare costs are growing exponentially and they will soon become unsustainable unless we change the way in which people are supported. In many cases, there is a need to shift medical care from institutions to the home environment. To this end, ICT tools are being proposed and studied to reform the traditional ways in which medical data are recorded, tested and analyzed, without in any way reducing its quality. MyHealthAvatar will make it possible to set up new interactions between doctors and patients to maintain the quality and intensity of treatment at a more sustainable cost.
MyHealthAvatar can be viewed as a personal bag carried by individual citizens throughout their lifetime. It is a companion that continually follows the citizen and empowers them to look after their own health records. This fits well into the recent trend of developing patient-centred healthcare systems.
MyHealthAvatar can also help resolve some legal and ethical issues in data sharing. Information and data sharing between different institutions across Europe is a huge challenge involving extremely complicated legal and ethical problems. To this end, it is much easier to let individual citizens manage their own data and to determine how and where it is exposed and shared for clinical and other purposes. Therefore, MyHealthAvatar strikes a good balance between the individual and society conflict.
MyHealthAvatar supports an infrastructure to maximise the yield of biomedical research expenditure through integrated models and data. It supplies healthcare providers with ICT capacity in terms of integrating the patient information into a coherent entity, which subsequently offers medical professionals and researchers an interface for the access of a large set of patient information through the sharing of the avatar data, and for blending information with extreme heterogeneity, including those from different data sources, different models, organ systems, space-time scales and modalities. Notably, MyHealthAvatar takes advantage of recent ICT advances in the integration of simulation models, semantic and data reasoning and visual analytics technology within a cloud-based architecture in order to target effective information collection, access, analysis and new knowledge discovery.