WO2010148444A1 - A health care system and a method for providing health care to a patient - Google Patents

A health care system and a method for providing health care to a patient

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Publication number
WO2010148444A1
WO2010148444A1 PCT/AU2010/000787 AU2010000787W WO2010148444A1 WO 2010148444 A1 WO2010148444 A1 WO 2010148444A1 AU 2010000787 W AU2010000787 W AU 2010000787W WO 2010148444 A1 WO2010148444 A1 WO 2010148444A1
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
records
patient
set
system
access
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/AU2010/000787
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Clifford Conrad Neville
Stephen John Clarke
Original Assignee
Medster Pty Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q50/00Systems or methods specially adapted for specific business sectors, e.g. utilities or tourism
    • G06Q50/10Services
    • G06Q50/22Social work
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/10Office automation, e.g. computer aided management of electronic mail or groupware; Time management, e.g. calendars, reminders, meetings or time accounting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G16INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR SPECIFIC APPLICATION FIELDS
    • G16HHEALTHCARE INFORMATICS, i.e. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR THE HANDLING OR PROCESSING OF MEDICAL OR HEALTHCARE DATA
    • G16H40/00ICT specially adapted for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities; ICT specially adapted for the management or operation of medical equipment or devices
    • G16H40/20ICT specially adapted for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities; ICT specially adapted for the management or operation of medical equipment or devices for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities, e.g. managing hospital staff or surgery rooms
    • GPHYSICS
    • G16INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR SPECIFIC APPLICATION FIELDS
    • G16HHEALTHCARE INFORMATICS, i.e. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR THE HANDLING OR PROCESSING OF MEDICAL OR HEALTHCARE DATA
    • G16H10/00ICT specially adapted for the handling or processing of patient-related medical or healthcare data
    • G16H10/60ICT specially adapted for the handling or processing of patient-related medical or healthcare data for patient-specific data, e.g. for electronic patient records

Abstract

A health care system and method for providing health care to a patient. The system (1) includes a first database (3) for storing a first set of records (4) relevant to patient (2) and a second database (5) for storing a second set of records (6) about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments. System (1) also includes a third database (7) for storing a third set of records (8) indicative of access permissions. A controller (15), via interfaces (10, 11, 13), selectively allows access and updating of records.

Description

A HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND A METHOD FOR PROVIDING HEALTH CARE TO A PATIENT

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[001] The present invention relates to a health care system and a method for providing health care to a patient.

[002] The invention has been developed primarily for use in the area of health informatics for gaining from a patient informed consent for a medical procedure and will be described hereinafter with reference to that application. However, the invention is not limited to that particular field of use and is also suitable, for example, for the provision of reliable health care information to assist patient education. As another example, the invention is also suitable to veterinary and pharmacy procedures to assist in easily imparting reliable medical or product advice to patients and other interested parties.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[003] Any discussion of the prior art throughout the specification should in no way be considered as an admission that such prior art is widely known or forms part of common general knowledge in the field.

[004] Known methods for providing medical information to patients and obtaining informed consent are deficient in a number of aspects.

[005] Doctors referring or treating patients for medical procedures are increasingly under a legal obligation to ensure that patients are fully informed of the procedure and have provide informed consent to be subject to the treatment. This generally requires the signing of a written consent form at the referring doctors' room on the day of referral or on the day of the procedure at the premises where it will take place. A number of problems have been identified with this system and include:

• Patients do not always fully understand the information being conveyed due to insufficient command of the language or the technical terminology used.

• Due to limited consultation time, doctors may not communicate well to the patients. • It can be difficult for a patient to concentrate fully on the matter due to the significance of the condition that has given rise to the recommendation for the procedure to occur.

• The consent forms requiring execution by the patient are not always read or fully understood.

• Patients who use internet "search engines" and/or other sources to find out more about their procedure often go to unreliable sites or sites which have a motive in promoting products which can be inappropriate and dangerous.

[006] Although there are already online providers of medical information, the accuracy and quality of the information varies enormously and it is often beyond the capability of the layperson to discriminate between relevant and irrelevant information.

[007] There are known systems for obtaining informed consent in an electronic and storable form. However, these systems are designed for medical professionals and include information that is typically suitable only for viewing and cognising by such an addressee.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[008] It is an object of the present invention to overcome or ameliorate at least one of the disadvantages of the prior art, or to provide a useful alternative.

[009] According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a health care system for a patient, the system including: a first database for storing a first set of records relevant to the patient; a second database for storing a second set of records about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments; a third database for storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records; a patient interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing the patient to access and update the sets of records; a provider interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider to access and update the sets of records; a related party interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; a controller that is responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow one or more of the patient or the related party, via the respective interfaces, to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.

[0010] In an embodiment, the first set of records is indicative of one or more of: the identity of the patient; the heath history of the patient; communications between the patient and the health care provider; and communications between the patient and the related party.

[0011] In an embodiment, the controller is responsive to the patient accessing the one or more predetermined records for providing a prompt signal to the patient via the patient interface that seeks an input signal from the patient.

[0012] In an embodiment, the controller is responsive to one or more of the prompt signal and the input signal for updating the first set of records.

[0013] In an embodiment, the prompt signal contains data indicative of one or more questions about the predetermined records.

[0014] In an embodiment, the input signal includes data indicative of answers to the one or more questions.

[0015] In an embodiment, the system is responsive to the input signal for providing a further prompt signal.

[0016] In an embodiment, the health care provider is a primary health care provider for the patient and the related party is one or more of: a specialist health care service provider; a blood relation of the patient; a spouse of the patient; and any other person authorised by the patient.

[0017] In an embodiment, the system includes a fourth database for storing a fourth set of records indicative of advertising information.

[0018] In an embodiment, the controller is responsive to the third database and the patient accessing the first database for delivering one or more of the patient, the provider and the third party with one or more records selected from the fourth set of records.

[0019] In an embodiment, the second set of records includes one or more of: text data; video and/or audio data; image data. [0020] In an embodiment, the video and/or audio data is in a documentary- style format.

[0021] In an embodiment, the controller is responsive to the input signal for selectively generating an alert signal.

[0022] In an embodiment, the alert signal is provided to the provider.

[0023] In an embodiment, the related party is unable to update the third set of records via the respective interface.

[0024] In an embodiment, the controller is responsive to a change in the first set of records for providing the patient, via the patient interface, with an update alert.

[0025] In an embodiment, the controller is responsive to changes in the first set of records for selectively providing one or more of the patient, the related party and the provider with at least one record selected from the first, second and fourth sets of records.

[0026] According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method of caring for a patient, the method including: storing a first set of records relevant to the patient; storing a second set of records about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments; storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records; being responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing the patient to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow one or more of the patient or the related party to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.

[0027] According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided a health care system for a patient, the system including: a first database for storing a first set of records relevant to the patient; a second database for storing a second set of records about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments; a third database for storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records; a provider interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider to access and update the sets of records; a related party interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; a controller that is responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow the related party, via the related party interface, to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.

[0028] In an embodiment, the patient is an animal, the health care provider is a veterinary professional, and the related party is a carer of the animal.

[0029] According to a fourth aspect of the invention there is provided a system for assisting a patient provide informed consent to undergo a medical procedure, the system including: a first database for storing a first set of records relevant to the patient; a second database for storing a second set of records about one or more procedures; a third database for storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records; a provider interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider for the patient to access and update the sets of records; a related party interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; a controller that is responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow the related party, via the related party interface, to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.

[0030] In an embodiment, the system includes a patient interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing the patient to access and update the sets of records. [0031] According to a fifth aspect of the invention there is provided a method for assisting a patient provide informed consent to undergo a medical procedure, the system including: storing on a first database a first set of records relevant to the patient; storing on a second database a second set of records about one or more procedures; storing on a third database a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records; providing a provider interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider for the patient to access and update the sets of records; providing a related party interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow the related party, via the related party interface, to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.

[0032] According to a sixth aspect of the invention there is provided a health care system for a patient, the system having at least selective access to a first database for storing a first set of records relevant to the patient, a second database for storing a second set of records about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments, and a third database for storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records, the system including: a patient interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing the patient to access and update the sets of records; a provider interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider to access and update the sets of records; and a related party interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; wherein the interfaces allow for selective updating of the third set of records in response to the first set of records such that one or more of the patient or the related party, via the respective interfaces, are able to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.

[0033] According to a seventh aspect of the invention there is provided a method of caring for a patient, the method selectively storing a first set of records relevant to the patient, storing a second set of records about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments, and storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records, the method including: being responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing the patient to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow one or more of the patient or the related party to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.

[0034] Reference throughout this specification to "one embodiment", "some embodiments" or "an embodiment" means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases "in one embodiment", "in some embodiments" or "in an embodiment" in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment, but may. Furthermore, the particular features, structures or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art from this disclosure, in one or more embodiments.

[0035] As used herein, unless otherwise specified the use of the ordinal adjectives "first", "second", "third", etc., to describe a common object, merely indicate that different instances of like objects are being referred to, and are not intended to imply that the objects so described must be in a given sequence, either temporally, spatially, in ranking, or in any other manner.

[0036] In the claims below and the description herein, any one of the terms comprising, comprised of or which comprises is an open term that means including at least the elements/features that follow, but not excluding others. Thus, the term comprising, when used in the claims, should not be interpreted as being limitative to the means or elements or steps listed thereafter. For example, the scope of the expression a device comprising A and B should not be limited to devices consisting only of elements A and B. Any one of the terms including or which includes or that includes as used herein is also an open term that also means including at least the elements/features that follow the term, but not excluding others. Thus, including is synonymous with and means comprising.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0037] Preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a block diagram of the health care system according to the invention;

Figure 2 is a block diagram of an exemplary IT infrastructure configured for providing corresponding functionalities to the system of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is an example of a pre -prepared form suppliable to a patient, according to one embodiment;

Figure 4 is an example of the questions provided to the patient in one embodiment;

Figure 5 is a flowchart of the basic stages of the system's website in one embodiment;

Figure 6 is a block diagram showing a Patients' and Doctors' computer modules on respective patient and provider interfaces in one embodiment;

Figure 7 is a screenshot of the welcome/login screen of the Patients' Module according to one embodiment of the invention;

Figure 8 is a screenshot of the introduction and video screen of the Patients' Module;

Figure 9 is a screenshot of the screen of the Patients' Module, which is provided to the patient for indicating whether they do or do not understand the information;

Figure 10 is a screenshot of the question screen of the Patients' Module; Figure 11 is a screenshot of the final screen of the Patients' Module; and

Figure 12 is a flowchart illustrating an overview of the system's website in one embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Overview

[0038] In overview, the present embodiments are directed to a health care system for patients, and methods associated with such systems. For example, an exemplary system includes a first database for storing a first set of records relevant to the patient. The system also includes a second database for storing a second set of records about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments. The system further includes a third database for storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records. A patient interface that is responsive to the third set of records is included for selectively allowing the patient to access and update the sets of records. The system includes a provider interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider to access and update the sets of records.

[0039] A related party interface that is responsive to the third set of records is included for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records. The system includes a controller that is responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow one or more of the patient or the third party, via the respective interfaces, to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.

[0040] In some embodiments, the sets of records are collectively stored in a common general database. That is, in some embodiments, the databases are formed of a single database.

[0041] It will be appreciated that in some embodiments, one or more of the databases or the general database is remote from the controller and/or interfaces. In one embodiment, the remoteness of the one or more of the databases or the general database is defined as being in different geographical locations. In one embodiment, the different geographical locations are in the same city. In other embodiments, the different geographical locations are in the same country. In further embodiments, the different geographical locations are in different countries.

System Overview

[0042] Referring initially to Figure 1, one embodiment provides a health care system 1 for a patient 2. In one embodiment the patient is a person, in other embodiments the patient is an animal or other living being. Although only a single patient 2 is illustrated, it will be appreciated that this is for the sake of simplicity only, and that in practice multiple patients make use of system 1.

[0043] System 1 includes a first database 3 for storing a first set of records 4 relevant to patient 2 and a second database 5 for storing a second set of records 6 about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments. System 1 also includes a third database 7 for storing a third set of records 8 indicative of access permissions to the sets of records 4 and 6. These databases are, in the present embodiment, provided by a common component, in the form of a general database 9. That is, whilst in Figure 1 various aspects of data are illustrated as distinct databases, the data is collectively stored in a common repository overall. In some embodiments database 9 includes a plurality of distributed software and/or hardware components.

[0044] System 1 includes a patient interface 10 that is responsive to records 8 for selectively allowing patient 2 to access and update the sets of record (particularly records 4). A provider interface 11 is responsive to records 8 for selectively allowing a health care provider 12 to access and update the sets of records (particularly records 4 and records 6). The system also includes a related party interface 13 that is responsive to records 8 for selectively allowing a related party 14 to access and update the sets of records (particularly records 4). A controller 15 is responsive to records 4 for selectively updating records 8 to allow one or more of the patient or the third party, via the respective interfaces, to access one or more predetermined records from records 6.

[0045] In the present context, an interface being "responsive" to records effectively means that the interface queries those records when determining permissions and/or authorisations for a user of that interface.

[0046] In some embodiments records 4 include patient records to which patient 2 and health care provider 12 have full access. This allows the patient, in some embodiments, to more easily gain access to other information held by the health care provider about the patient. Records 4 is indicative of one or more of:

• The identity of the patient.

• The heath history of the patient (including a history of the patient's access to the second records).

• Communications between the patient and the health care provider.

• Communications between the patient and the related party.

[0047] In some embodiments, records 4 also includes a blog page, a chat page and/or a comments page that facilitates communication between the health care provider and the patient. [0048] Records 6 includes general or educational information regarding various treatments available to patient 2. Records 6 includes one or more of text data, video and/or audio data, and image data. In some embodiments the video and/or audio data is provided in, or able to be viewed as, a documentary- style format.

[0049] Records 8 includes the various access permissions for users of system 1, such as patient 2, health care provider 12 and related party 14.

[0050] Patient interface 10 is a computer- implemented interface that is used by patient 2 to obtain access to and to update their information. For example, interface 10 may include web-based interface that is accessed by a user's computational device, and/or computer hardware (or software executable thereon) that is locally accessible to the user. In some embodiments, not all patient information is able to be updated. For example, historical records will be held in a "read only" format. For the purposes of the present discourse, reference to the utilisation or potential utilisation of a computer system or other electronic interface by a "patient" should be read broadly to include utilisation of that computer system by another party on behalf of the patient, or by another party purporting to be the patient for the purpose of that utilisation.

[0051] Provider interface 11 is also a computer-implemented interface, and allows the health care provider 12 to access and update information.

[0052] Related party interface 13 is a computer- implemented interface for allowing a one or more of a specialist, a spouse, a relative and/or other authorised person to access specific patient data and educational data. The related party is unable to update records 8 via the respective interface. This specifically prevents the related party from setting the permissions.

[0053] Controller 15 is provided by computer hardware and/or software (for example hardware and/or software operable at a server location that communicates with interfaces 10, 11 and 13 via a communications network), and is configured to change the access permissions to allow patient 2 or the related party 14 to view certain educational data once records 4 indicate that a particular procedure has been recommended to them by the health care provider 12.

[0054] Controller 15 is responsive to the patient accessing the one or more predetermined records for providing a prompt signal to the patient via the patient interface that seeks an input signal from the patient. The controller is responsive to one or more of the prompt signal and the input signal for updating records 4. The prompt signal contains data indicative of one or more questions about the predetermined records from records 6. In some embodiments, a browser application operating on a computer is responsive to this signal for rendering a display for visually and/or audibly communicating the one or more questions. The input signal includes data indicative of answers to the one or more questions (for example these answers are entered into a browser application). Controller 15 is responsive to the input signal for selectively generating an alert signal, for example in response to an incorrect answer. In some embodiments the alert signal is provided to provider 12 that the questions have been answered incorrectly.

[0055] The health care provider is a primary health care provider for the patient and the related party is one or more of: a specialist health care service provider; a blood relation of the patient; a spouse of the patient; and any other person authorised by the patient.

[0056] In some embodiments the patient is an animal, the health care provider is a vet, and the related party is a carer of the pet. In these embodiments, the carer, as a related party, is able to change the permissions.

[0057] System 1 further includes a fourth database 16 for storing a fourth set of records 17 indicative of advertising information. Controller 15 is responsive to database 7 and the patient accessing database 3 for delivering one or more of the patient, the provider and the third party with one or more records selected from records 17. In some embodiments advertising information is delivered to one of the participants in the system based upon input from patient 2, for example, the patient answering the questionnaire.

[0058] Controller 15 is responsive to a change in records 4 for providing the patient, via the patient interface, with an update alert. This allows the patient to be informed of changes to their records. The controller is responsive to changes in records 4 for selectively providing one or more of the patient, the related party and the provider with at least one record selected from records 4, records 6 and records 17. In some embodiments this provides a reminder system following a given treatment, or a suggestion for additional treatment such as physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment. The reminder, in some embodiments, goes to the patient and the health care provider, so that the health care provider has an option, via an integrated chat page, to comment on the suggestion that has been made. IT Infrastructure Overview

[0059] Figure 2 illustrates an exemplary IT infrastructure 20 according to one embodiment. This infrastructure is configured for providing corresponding functionalities to system 1 of Figure 1.

[0060] As illustrated, the system includes a central server 21, which provides the functionality of controller 15. Additionally, this server is configured to communicate with a plurality of client terminals 22 over a communications network 23. For example, these client terminals include patient terminals, health care terminals and related party terminals.

[0061] In the illustrated example, network 23 is provided by an internet-based interface 24. However, it will be appreciated that the manner by which the central server communicates with client terminals varies between embodiments. For example, various wired and wireless communications networks are used in other embodiments. In some embodiments combinations are present, such as a combination of cellular networks (for example where client terminals include cell phones) and the Internet (for example where client terminals include POS terminals and/or personal computers).

[0062] Interface 24 provides patient interface 10, being defined by web pages for rendering at patient terminals. Interface 24 similarly provides provider interface 11 and related party interface 13, being defined by web pages for rendering at healthcare provider terminals and related party terminals respectively.

[0063] It should be appreciated that server 21 is illustrated as a single discrete component for the purposes of illustration only, and in other embodiments server 21 includes multiple discrete (and in some cases distributed) components. In the illustrated example, server 21 includes a processor 25 coupled to a memory module 26 that maintains software instructions 27 for execution on processor 25. These software instructions allow server 21 to perform various methods and provide various functionalities discussed herein, such as the functionality of controller 15. Also coupled to processor 25 is a communications interface 28 for allowing communication between server 21 and client terminals 22. Server 21 operates in conjunction with database 9, which might also include distributed components. Database 9 maintains data including patient records, medical information, access permissions and advertising information.

[0064] As illustrated, client terminals 22 include patient terminals, health care terminals and related party terminals. An exemplary client terminal 30 includes a processor 31 coupled to a memory module 32 that maintains software instructions 33 for execution on processor 31. These software instructions allow terminal 30 to perform various methods and provide various functionalities discussed herein. In some embodiments these software instructions are implemented in conjunction with software instructions 33 for this purpose. Also coupled to processor 31 is a communications interface 34 (such as an Ethernet interface, GSM/other cellular communications module, or other communications interface) for allowing communication between server 21 and client terminals 22.

[0065] Unless specifically stated otherwise, it should be appreciated that throughout the specification terms such as "processing," "computing," "calculating," "determining", analysing" or the like, in some embodiments refer to the action and/or processes of a computer or computing system, or similar electronic computing device, that manipulate and/or transform data represented as physical, such as electronic, quantities into other data similarly represented as physical quantities.

[0066] In a similar manner, the term "processor" may refer to any device or portion of a device that processes electronic data, e.g., from registers and/or memory to transform that electronic data into other electronic data that, e.g., may be stored in registers and/or memory. A "computer" or a "computing machine" or a "computing platform" may include one or more processors.

[0067] The methodologies described herein are, in some embodiments, performable by one or more processors that accept computer-readable (also called machine-readable) code containing a set of instructions that, when executed by one or more of the processors, carry out at least one of the methods described herein, or a variation on at least one of the methods described herein. Any processor capable of executing a set of instructions (sequential or otherwise) that specify actions to be taken should be included. Thus, one example is a typical processing system that includes one or more processors. Each processor may include one or more of a CPU, a graphics processing unit, and a programmable DSP unit. The processing system further may include a memory subsystem including main RAM and/or a static RAM, and/or ROM. A bus subsystem may be included for communicating between the components. The processing system further may be a distributed processing system with processors coupled by a network. If the processing system requires a display, such a display may be included, e.g., a liquid crystal display (LCD) or a cathode ray tube (CRT) display. If manual data entry is required, the processing system also includes an input device such as one or more of an alphanumeric input unit such as a keyboard, a pointing control device such as a mouse, and so forth. The term memory unit as used herein, if clear from the context and unless explicitly stated otherwise, also encompasses a storage system such as a disk drive unit. The processing system in some configurations may include a sound output device, and a network interface device. The memory subsystem thus includes a computer-readable carrier medium that carries computer-readable code (e.g., software) including a set of instructions to cause performing, when executed by one or more processors, one of more of the methods described herein. Note that when the method includes several elements, e.g., several steps, no ordering of such elements is implied, unless specifically stated. The software may reside in the hard disk, or may also reside, completely or at least partially, within the RAM and/or within the processor during execution thereof by the computer system. Thus, the memory and the processor also constitute computer-readable carrier medium carrying computer-readable code.

[0068] Furthermore, a computer-readable carrier medium may form, or be includes in a computer program product.

[0069] In alternative embodiments, the one or more processors operate as a standalone device or may be connected, e.g., networked to other processor(s), in a networked deployment, the one or more processors may operate in the capacity of a server or a user machine in server-user network environment, or as a peer machine in a peer-to-peer or distributed network environment. The one or more processors may form a personal computer (PC), a tablet PC, a set-top box (STB), a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), a cellular telephone, a web appliance, a network router, switch or bridge, or any machine capable of executing a set of instructions (sequential or otherwise) that specify actions to be taken by that machine.

[0070] Note that while some diagrams only show a single processor and a single memory that carries the computer-readable code, those in the art will understand that many of the components described above are included, but not explicitly shown or described in order not to obscure the inventive aspect. For example, while only a single machine is illustrated, the term "machine" or "device" shall also be taken to include any collection of machines that individually or jointly execute a set (or multiple sets) of instructions to perform any one or more of the methodologies discussed herein. [0071] At least one embodiment of each of the methods described herein is in the form of a computer-readable carrier medium carrying a set of instructions (such as a computer program) that are for execution on one or more processors, (such as one or more processors that are part of an information system). Thus, as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, embodiments of the present invention may be embodied as a method, an apparatus such as a special purpose apparatus, an apparatus such as a data processing system, or a computer-readable carrier medium (such as a computer program product). The computer- readable carrier medium carries computer readable code including a set of instructions that when executed on one or more processors cause the processor or processors to implement a method. Accordingly, aspects of the present invention may take the form of a method, an entirely hardware embodiment, an entirely software embodiment or an embodiment combining software and hardware aspects. Furthermore, the present invention may take the form of carrier medium (such as a computer program product on a computer-readable storage medium) carrying computer-readable program code embodied in the medium.

[0072] The software may further be transmitted or received over a network via a network interface device or other communications interface. While the carrier medium is shown in an exemplary embodiment to be a single medium, the term "carrier medium" should be taken to include a single medium or multiple media (such as a centralized or distributed database, and/or associated caches and servers) that store the one or more sets of instructions. The term "carrier medium" shall also be taken to include any medium that is capable of storing, encoding or carrying a set of instructions for execution by one or more of the processors and that cause the one or more processors to perform any one or more of the methodologies of the present invention. A carrier medium may take many forms, including but not limited to, non-volatile media, volatile media, and transmission media. Non-volatile media includes, for example, optical, magnetic disks, and magneto-optical disks. Volatile media includes dynamic memory, such as main memory. Transmission media includes coaxial cables, copper wire and fiber optics, including the wires that comprise a bus subsystem. Transmission media also may also take the form of acoustic or light waves, such as those generated during radio wave and infrared data communications. For example, the term "carrier medium" shall accordingly be taken to included, but not be limited to, solid-state memories, a computer product embodied in optical and magnetic media, a medium bearing a propagated signal detectable by at least one processor of one or more processors and representing a set of instructions that when executed implement a method, a carrier wave bearing a propagated signal detectable by at least one processor of the one or more processors and representing the set of instructions a propagated signal and representing the set of instructions, and a transmission medium in a network bearing a propagated signal detectable by at least one processor of the one or more processors and representing the set of instructions.

[0073] It will be understood that the steps of methods discussed are performed in one embodiment by an appropriate processor (or processors) of a processing system (such as a computer) executing instructions (computer-readable code) stored in storage. It will also be understood that the invention is not limited to any particular implementation or programming technique and that the invention may be implemented using any appropriate techniques for implementing the functionality described herein. The invention is not limited to any particular programming language or operating system.

Practical Examples

[0074] An example is considered below using the subject of "Colonoscopy". This example is intended to provide a template for other procedures and to illustrate how the process operates in one embodiment. In this particular example, the health care provider is a patient's doctor.

[0075] The present example includes the following stages:

(a) A pre-prepared form available for download from a doctors' section of the system's website is suppliable to a patient in a printed form from the consulting rooms, or sent to the patient via email. An example of a pre-prepared form is shown in Figure 3.

(b) The doctor decides that the patient needs a colonoscopic investigation and informs the patient about the procedure. The doctor then supplies the patient (by paper or by email) with the form detailing the name and internet address of the system's website, as shown in Figure 3. This communication, or one or more separate communications, provides the patient with a user name and password to be used to allow the patient selected access to additional web pages from the website.

(c) At the patient's leisure, he or she (and those whom the patient believes should be informed about the upcoming medical event) accesses the system's website through a computer and enters in the user name and password (and/or othe identifier or confirmation number) provided to them by the referring doctor. Use is made in some embodiments of additional security measures such as asking the patient to type into the webpage text that corresponds to specific non- machine readable text provided elsewhere on that webpage.

(d) The system is responsive to the specific username and password for providing the patient with a choice of websites about the procedure. While in this example, the procedure is a colonoscopy, in other embodiments different or multiple procedures are involved for a single patient. The patient is able to select one or more appropriate audio visual presentations about the procedure, in understandable language. (In some embodiments, the patient is provided a specific procedure identifier by the doctor, and this identifier needs to be separately entered into the webpage). The patient is given the opportunity to watch any part of the presentation again until he or she is satisfied with their level of understanding of what they have been shown or do not wish to continue. If they do not wish to continue, the patient accesses a "help" screen with a telephone number to contact. On the other hand, if they indicate that they have understood the information, they are given the opportunity to hit an electronic button to take them to a question page or pages. See Figure 4 for an example of the questions provided to the patient. The patient is asked various questions framed by medical/legal professionals pertaining to their knowledge of the procedure, the patient then enters their answers in the fields provided on the page or pages. Once the questions have been answered, the patient is given the opportunity to hit other buttons which electronically conveys the forms (or at least the answers) to a nominated series of recipients, which could include one or more of the doctor, or one or more related parties. The patient is also encouraged to print out the completed form and to have that with him or her on the day of the procedure. This, in turn, is intended to facilitate the process of admission and identification to the facility where the procedure is to be carried out.

Exemplary method

[0076] The system allows patients to be informed about their procedure from sources approved by legal and medical professionals and prepared by professional communicators as a "mini current affairs" presentation. Accordingly, some embodiments of the system assist in the provision of reliable health care information to help patient education and reduce the "fear of the unknown". The information is conveyed in an easily-understood combination of audio, visual and written communications. The system incorporates a module which allows patients to answer questions to show they have understood the procedure and are consenting to it. The system conveys that consent to the health care providers handling the patient's case, and also to other medical staff on the occasion of the procedure. In some embodiments, the records are used in the event of legal action arising from the subject of information or consent to a procedure.

[0077] In some embodiments, in an attempt to further gain a rigorous informed consent from the patient, use is made of additional features. For example, in one embodiment, the system is responsive to the patient submitting answers for comparing those answers with one or more template answers. This, in turn, is used to derive an assessment or measure of understanding gained by the patient from the medical and/or legal content that was provided via the patient interface. If the assessment or measure is below a predetermined threshold, an alert is provided to the doctor, either in isolation or together with the answers. This allows the doctor to then contact the patient to address a those matters where the patient has demonstrated a relatively low level of understanding. That is, the doctor's efforts are able to be focussed to a subset of the overall area, based upon input from the patient.

[0078] In another embodiment, the system is responsive to the answers from the patient for selectively providing additional educational content for review by the patient via the patient interface. That is, if the assessment or measure of the patients answers indicates a relatively low level of understanding of one or more of the topics, the system changes the permissions for the patient to allowing viewing of additional educational material, and provides a message to the client that the additional material is available for viewing. The system is then responsive to the patient having viewed the additional material for delivering additional questions pages. This cycle of providing educational material, providing question pages, and being responsive to the answers for determining the next action is able to be repeated many times.

[0079] With each iteration of the cycle mentioned above, the additional educational material is able to include the same information as was originally provided. However, it is preferred that different information is presented to better ensure cognisance of the relevant facts by the patient. Another option is to change the format of the presentation. Moreover, it is preferred that for each iteration of the delivery of the question page or pages, that different questions or combinations of questions are presented to reduce the risk of the patient simply guessing the right answer.

[0080] In embodiments of the invention, the system is accessed via the internet, mobile telephone or cellular telephone device or other electronic means. The system's website basically has four stages, as shown in Figure 5:

• The information is prepared by one or more producers skilled in mass communications.

• The information is vetted and altered by qualified legal and medical professionals.

• The system provides access via username, password and other identifiers or numbers.

• Each patient has their own identifier or username, which is given to the patient, doctor and service provider by the system.

[0081] The system includes two computer "modules" - the Patients' Module and the Doctors' Module. These modules are accessible from the patient interface and provider interface respectively. Each module is connected to a secure database which is administered by a central administration server, as shown in Figure 6. Computer software is provided to allow the results required to be achieved.

Doctors ' Module

[0082] For the purpose of illustration, the actions of the Doctors' Module will firstly be examined in a theoretical situation. For example, suppose a patient has presented a condition that the doctor deems requires a colonoscopy. The illustration that follows assumes that the doctor has registered to use the system.

[0083] In a doctor's consulting room, the doctor discusses generally the procedure, preparation and aftercare with a patient. The doctor then recommends that the patient and carers obtain further information and learn more about the procedure through the system. The doctor (or delegate) makes a booking for the procedure with the institution concerned and obtains a time and date. If this option is not immediately available, and the patient is asked to make the booking themselves, the contact details of the service provider is provided through the Patients' Module. [0084] The doctor (or delegate) logs into the system's website. The patient waits for the doctor (or delegate) to complete the system's process to take away a printed form, or elects to have the form sent via email, post or communicated in another way. Details of the doctor's (or delegate's) actions and the system's corresponding program responses are provided below.

Note: The details are amendable by the doctor (or delegate) at any time to update changes in appointment times etc. An update is automatically sent to the patient. In this embodiment, the update is in the form of an email sent to an email address on record for the patient. In other embodiments, different an electronic updates are provided, including SMS, Windows Messaging, or the like. In another embodiment, the update is provided in paper form. "New Professional User" Window

Patients ' Module

[0085] In the above example, the doctor has informed the patient that they require a colonoscopy. The doctor has provided the patient with a simple explanation of the procedure. For illustration purposes, suppose the patient subsequently decides to obtain further information and learn more about the procedure through use of the system.

[0086] The patient has two options, to wait for the doctor (or delegate) to access the system and provide the patient with a printed form, or to receive the required login information via email. The patient then uses the information on the form or email to log into the system's website. Details of the patient's actions and the system's corresponding program responses are provided below.

[0087] The procedure details displayed by the system program includes the date and time of procedure and a link to the provider's website, or provides other details to help ensure the patient is fully informed about the location of the proceduralist and check-in procedures.

[0088] A flowchart illustrating an overview of the system's website in one embodiment is shown in Figure 12. Referring to Figure 12, in addition to being redirected to a question screen when the patient clicks the appropriate button to indicate that they have understood the information, some embodiments of the system provides the patient with the following additional options:

(1) To watch an extended video of the procedure. This video includes items that were omitted from the original video. (2) To connect to external internet links to sites which have been approved for relevance and accuracy.

(3) To send an email to a third party who wishes to know more about the procedure. The email will contain a link which will allow the third party - relative, friend, colleague, employer etc - to view a short video prepared especially for third parties. The video will have an emphasis on preparation, recovery and aftercare which often the third party will be able to assist with.

[0089] Prior to the patient logging off, the system program, in some embodiments, provide an option of an electronic transfer to the proceduralist and other providers of the information provided by the patient.

Conclusions

[0090] The present systems enable a patient to be guided through the entire process of consultative referral, preparation, procedure, recovery, aftercare and follow up in a way which takes advantage of the widespread use of home or work internet and portable devices such as iPhones, iPads and the like.

[0091] For example, in some embodiments, the patient is able to authorise family members to be defined as related parties, and to have appropriate permissions defined. This, in turn, allows the authorised family members to obtain selected information about the procedure and the patient via the related party interface. This includes allowing the authorised family members, on the day of the procedure, to obtain updates on the procedure and other information about the procedure. Accordingly, if the family members are present at the medical facility where the procedure is being performed, those members are able to use either existing computers within the facility, or their own cellular telephone (iPhone, iPads etc) to access the related party interface. In these embodiments, it is also possible to have a surgeon performing the procedure defined as a related party, and for the surgeon to have updates provided, via the related party interface, about the procedure. Due to the sensitivity of these updates, considerable care is taken about the content and timing of its availability.

[0092] Examples of the patient, the heath care provider and the related party are provided in the following table.

[0093] It will be appreciated by the skilled addressee, given the benefit of the teaching herein that, in other embodiments, other combinations are possible.

[0094] In some embodiments the system is designed for patient education, plain- speaking information delivery, and knowledge and consent. The system is designed to be used as soon as the referring health care provider has decided the procedure is warranted, and not on the day the procedure is carried out. The presentations are written and presented rather like a familiar television current affairs program. Patients are able to absorb information at their leisure using an interface they are comfortable with in surroundings they are used to, and can be shared at home with family and friends who will learn what special care the patient will need before/during/after treatment. When the patient fills out the questionnaire and submits it, medical and legal professionals know that the system is designed by adequate qualified and experienced personnel in local practise and procedure. In this regard, some embodiments of the system are suitable for providing reliable health care information for assisting with patient education.

[0095] In some embodiments, the system is designed to embrace many common medical procedures. Embodiments of the invention will be used for other related medical applications such as veterinary procedures, pharmaceutical testing, experimental procedures and specific procedures where special communication is employed (that is, childhood oncology). In some embodiments, the system has useful applications for times when a patient is prescribed a new drug and does not receive adequate information from the pharmacist or doctor, or simply wants to obtain further information.

[0096] The above embodiments seek to gain informed consent from a patient not only though the provision of a combination of media - text, image and video - but also by time- effectively engaging the patient's doctor. For example, the system allows the doctor to be informed, where required, of the medical information provided to the patient, the questions posted to the patient and the answers provided by the patient. The system includes a hierarchy of automated alerts for encouraging the doctor to review some or all of the patient records to allow the doctor to more clearly conclude if informed consent has been provided. It also allows the patient to easily communicate with the doctor about any advertising or other links that are placed upon the patient interface. In some embodiments, the system is responsive to the procedure that the patient is to be subject to for selecting the advertising that is provided to the patient via the patient interface. In a subset of these embodiments, the doctor or other primary health care professional, is alerted to any click-through made by the patient in response to that advertising.

[0097] While the above embodiments make use of a combination of media to educate the patient, in other embodiments, the patient is able to select from a range of media that which he or she is most comfortable with. For example, in some embodiments, the patient is able to select one or more of: audio format; video format; text format; image format; or a medium including a combination of the preceding formats. In an embodiment, the patient is also able to select between the format of the answers. For example, one or more of: clicking on one of a plurality of presented texts; typing in text; and clicking on one region of an image selected from a plurality of regions of that image.

[0098] Another feature of the embodiments is the ability of the patient, the health care professional and the related party to change the permission records. Due to the sensitive nature of the information being handled, considerable controls are in place to protect unauthorised access. Accordingly, the authorisation of a related party usually requires the consent of and electronic confirmation from both the patient and the primary health care provider. [0099] Various embodiments aim to provide systems and methods at no cost to both practitioners and patients, thereby to encourage widespread use. In various examples, this includes:

• Sponsorship by professional bodies who see their members time, effort, risk of litigation to be mitigated by this method. For example, medical defence providers, health funds and medical professional organisations.

• Advertising opportunities - there is the opportunity for "branding" at each stage of the procedure. Company logos could be used at just about every stage of the process - i.e. from branding on the initial forms to each page of the website and the document the patient will take with them on the day.

• Use of a portal. In one embodiment the system is accessible only through an established portal, and in such a manner provides a guaranteed method of increasing traffic through the portal.

Specific Pet Care Embodiment

[00100] The invention is able to be adapted to encompass areas that are for other than for human medical procedures. Particularly, embodiments have been developed for use in the field of pet care and veterinary procedures which, while not always necessitating the same level of informed consent, nevertheless benefits a pet owner/carer and the vendor/provider of the pet. The embodiment includes two principle components, a general content component, and a specific content component.

[00101] The general content component includes various forms of electronic content that are selectively provided to clients - that is, pet owners, parties related to pet owners, veterinary professionals, breeders and other related parties - about general or specific pet care. The focus of some embodiments is to pet owners those who have recently purchased a new pet. However, it is also applicable to many other persons and pet owners, regardless of the length of pet ownership.

[00102] One embodiment allows the owner of a pet to gain access to selected content easily and conveniently, without having to seek an audience with a veterinary surgeon or other animal health care professional. The content is certified or regulated in accordance with one or more standards to remain current and/or provide best practise information in pet care. In some embodiments, the content is taken from a source known to be reliable and up-to-date about local conditions/products. In other embodiments, use is made of a variety of sources while, in still further embodiments, the content is independently compiled by the administrator of the overall system.

[00103] For veterinary surgeons, pet vendors and breeders the embodiments provide a level of assurance that the owner of an animal is more reliably informed of what is involved in the responsibilities of providing pet care.

[00104] The specific content component allows one or more of the relevant parties to access information regarding specific upcoming veterinary procedures for a given pet or animal. This includes as a prerequisite the client consulting a veterinary surgeon or other animal health care professional who assess that a given procedure is required. Following from this, the client is issued with a unique identification number. Procedures include, for example, de-sexing, cruciate ligament surgery, and other surgery. With the relevant password and identification number issued to the client - and the resultant authorisations and permissions being automatically or manually assigned - the embodiment operates similarly to the informed consent methodology described above with reference to the embodiments relating to human use. For example, there is adherence to the same protocols in that the presentation is in a "television current affairs" format and is vetted by veterinary professionals for accuracy and local relevance.

[00105] The embodiments for pet care have two modules, a Vet Module and an Owners' Module. Upon a new login, the main feature provided to the owner is a short video presentation in the "infoism" format (a term colloquially used to denote a combination of information and journalism). This includes, for example, a polished, professional presentation that is scripted, filmed and edited by information professionals, but supervised, altered and approved by experts with high academic qualifications in the appropriate field.

[00106] In the Owners' Module there is an additional link entitled "How to Look After Your New Pet" that is able to be followed to allow the owner to access selected portions of the general information. The selection will be limited to those web pages that are authorised from the login permissions provided to the owner. For example, if the pet is a cat of a give breed, then access is provided to general information about cats as well as general information about the specific breed of cat. As the location of the owner is also know within a certain degree of specificity, the selection is also able to be made on the basis of pet care information based upon region. [00107] Selected general content is developed to cater for new pet owners. The available links allow the owner to select from a variety of media that present using a combination of animation and actuality, with the normal devices of voice-over, pieces to camera, and information superimposition. In cases where it is "how to" (as distinct from a medical veterinary procedure) - that is, when someone has purchased a new pet - the video is presented by an animated pet using a proven computer program such as Crazy Talk™ (^M^A^ll}IU93.^or^lcra/y_falkJ). For example, use is selectively made, in a light- hearted way, of an animated dog, cat, bird, fish or other animal to convey the desire information. In some embodiments, this animation is interspersed with explanation by a veterinary surgeon and/or expert presenter. This format has been found particularly helpful for assisting children, whether that child is an owner of the pet, or a child of the owner. That is, one of the aims of the format is to entertain children and to keep their attention, while imparting information about how to take care of the new pet.

[00108] The straight "medical procedure" portion of the website is used by a veterinary surgeon to explain a veterinary medical procedure. This follows the lines of the human treatment related embodiments described above. Use is made of animation of procedures, together with an explanation of what is involved before, during and after a given procedure. And a series of questions are posed to the owner or the designated personal to gain informed consent for the procedure.

[00109] The embodiments allow pet owners to seek education and general advice prior to the pet requiring specific health care. It also offers pet owners with a medium to be introduced to veterinary surgeons, breeders and others who are able to assist both in person and through the embodiment to assist with the care of the pet.

[00110] In some embodiments, the pet owner is able to personalise the presentation about the pet and to set the permissions for viewing that presentation.

[00111] A more detailed explanation of the operation of one embodiment of the invention is provided below with reference to the purchase by of a pup from a pet store by a party that has just become an owner of the pup. Particularly:

[00112] After finalising the transaction, a representative of the pet store logs into the MedsterPet Vet Module. On the website, the representative completes a number of fields including the name and address, telephone number and email address of the purchaser. One or more fields are auto-completed based upon the login details of the pet store. The program then seeks, via multiple choice questions, information about the pet - such as, animal type, colouring, age, vaccinations received, date of treatment, and the like. For example, after selecting the animal type "dog" the program provides the pet store a sequence of multiple choice questions including:

[00113] The program then prints out a form on the pet store printer so that a copy of the completed form is able to be given to the new owner. Alternatively, a copy of the form and/or information is provided by email to the owner. The information includes a unique identity number (UIN) that is allocated to the owner. The default name allocated to the owner is the email address of the owner.

[00114] The printed form, or the electronic form provided in the email, include a link to the web delivered Owners' Module of the embodiment. After automatically downloading and instantiating the relevant login page, the owner is able to enter the UIN to log into the Module. After logging in, the underlying software program provides the owner with a further webpage offering the following options:

[00115] In the filming and editing of the video there are a number of alternative video sequences filmed according to the breed, age and weight of the dog In a specific embodiment, there are a number of options filmed, examples of which are provided below.

[00116] A first example relates to feeding options, and by way of illustrations includes separate video clip for: (a) Small dogs, for example, those between about 5 to 10 kg in weight.

(b) Medium dogs, for example, those between about 10 to 20 kg in weight.

(c) Large dogs, for example, those having a weight of greater than about 20 kg.

[00117] In (a) there is a sequence filmed suggesting that the normal requirement is about 1 to 1.75 cans of dog food a day. For (b) the suggestion is for about 1.75 to 3 cans per day, and for (c) about four cans per day.

[00118] A second example relates to grooming options, and by way of illustration includes separate video clips for:

(a) Short haired dogs and/or dogs with rough coats, with the suggestion that grooming is required at least once every three weeks.

(b) Medium haired dogs, with the suggestion that grooming is required at least once every two weeks.

(c) Long haired dogs, with the suggestion that grooming is required at least once every week.

[00119] In addition, the above embodiment includes a number of sequences videotaped in the production of the video, tailored for specific breeds of dog and dogs of a given weight range and age range. Moreover, the audio portion of the sequences are tailored to the owner and the animal involved. For example, the voice over or other audible reference to the animal makes use of the dog's new name. Moreover, use is made of location information relative to the area in which the pet is located to provide more relevant information. For example, if ticks or other pests are prevalent, reference is selectively made of this in the presentation typically by voice over.

[00120] In some embodiment use is made of animated characters and animals to provide additional flexibility in programming and display. That is, the software algorithm that runs within the embodiment determines, based upon a variety of variables, which of the available sequences are most relevant for a particular case, and the order in which they should be displayed.

[00121] In the case of a seven week old Jack Russell named Fido (as referred to above) the algorithm automatically constructs an animated film showing the appropriate sequences. This includes, for example, initially offering a general introduction by a cartoon presenter. After this introduction, the algorithm chooses for inclusion segments relating to a small dog and a short haired dog. Other determinations are made based upon other available characteristics such as exercise regime, immunisations, veterinary surgeon check-up times, and any particular health problems for specific breeds and any local issues often faced by dogs of that breed in the given location or region. Other segments are also provided, such as general health requirements (for example, how to best avoid and treat heart worms), how to treat fleas, ticks etc that are provided in most if not all presentations for dogs.

[00122] A brief example of a short script for an embodiment is provided in the table below.

[00123] It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art from the teaching herein that the script is extended and embellished are required to assist with the education of the owner and or other parties such as the owner's children.

[00124] In some embodiments the webpages delivered include embedded links, promotions or advertisements from other parties. Examples of such parties include dog food manufacturers, pet accessory suppliers, veterinary professional organisations, animal welfare groups, amongst others.

[00125] Although the invention has been described with reference to specific examples it will be appreciate by those skilled in the art that it may be embodied in many other forms.

Claims

1. A health care system for a patient, the system including: a first database for storing a first set of records relevant to the patient; a second database for storing a second set of records about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments; a third database for storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records; a patient interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing the patient to access and update the sets of records; a provider interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider to access and update the sets of records; a related party interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; a controller that is responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow one or more of the patient or the related party, via the respective interfaces, to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.
2. A system according to claim 1 wherein the first set of records is indicative of one or more of: the identity of the patient; the heath history of the patient; communications between the patient and the health care provider; and communications between the patient and the related party.
3. A system according to claim 1 wherein the controller is responsive to the patient accessing the one or more predetermined records for providing a prompt signal to the patient via the patient interface that seeks an input signal from the patient.
4. A system according to claim 3 wherein the controller is responsive to one or more of the prompt signal and the input signal for updating the first set of records.
5. A system according to claim 3 or claim 4 wherein the prompt signal contains data indicative of one or more questions about the predetermined records.
6. A system according to claim 5 wherein the input signal includes data indicative of answers to the one or more questions.
7. A system according to claim 6 that is responsive to the input signal for providing a further prompt signal.
8. A system according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the health care provider is a primary health care provider for the patient and the related party is one or more of: a specialist health care service provider; a blood relation of the patient; a spouse of the patient; and any other person authorised by the patient.
9. A system according to any one of the preceding claims including a fourth database for storing a fourth set of records indicative of advertising information.
10. A system according to claim 9 wherein the controller is responsive to the third database and the patient accessing the first database for delivering one or more of the patient, the provider and the third party with one or more records selected from the fourth set of records.
11. A system according to claim 1 wherein the second set of records includes one or more of: text data; video and/or audio data; image data.
12. A system according to claim 11 wherein the video and/or audio data is in a documentary- style format.
13. A system according to claim 6 wherein the controller is responsive to the input signal for selectively generating an alert signal.
14. A system according to claim 13 wherein the alert signal is provided to the provider.
15. A system according to claim 1 wherein the related party is unable to update the third set of records via the respective interface.
16. A system according to claim 1 wherein the controller is responsive to a change in the first set of records for providing the patient, via the patient interface, with an update alert.
17. A method of caring for a patient, the method including: storing a first set of records relevant to the patient; storing a second set of records about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments; storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records; being responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing the patient to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow one or more of the patient or the related party to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.
18. A health care system for a patient, the system including: a first database for storing a first set of records relevant to the patient; a second database for storing a second set of records about one or more medications, medical procedures and/or treatments; a third database for storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records; a provider interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider to access and update the sets of records; a related party interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; a controller that is responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow the related party, via the related party interface, to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.
19. A system for assisting a patient provide informed consent to undergo a medical procedure, the system including: a first database for storing a first set of records relevant to the patient; a second database for storing a second set of records about one or more procedures; a third database for storing a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records; a provider interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider for the patient to access and update the sets of records; a related party interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; a controller that is responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow the related party, via the related party interface, to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.
20. A method for assisting a patient provide informed consent to undergo a medical procedure, the system including: storing on a first database a first set of records relevant to the patient; storing on a second database a second set of records about one or more procedures; storing on a third database a third set of records indicative of access permissions to the sets of records; providing a provider interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a health care provider for the patient to access and update the sets of records; providing a related party interface that is responsive to the third set of records for selectively allowing a related party to access and update the sets of records; being responsive to the first set of records for selectively updating the third set of records to allow the related party, via the related party interface, to access one or more predetermined records from the second set of records.
PCT/AU2010/000787 2009-06-25 2010-06-24 A health care system and a method for providing health care to a patient WO2010148444A1 (en)

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