The research focus eHealth in primary care is a relatively new, but in the current situation all the more important research focus of the department.
The Austrian primary care system, as well as the health care system as a whole, faces a variety of challenges that will intensify in the coming years. One of the most pressing problems is the increasingly limited access to expert care in the public system, especially in rural and underserved areas. This growing inequality in access to health care is exacerbated by the increasing workload of the remaining health and social care professionals as they struggle to address the complex and growing concerns of their patients. As the population in Austria tends to grow older, but without an increase in life expectancy in health, and chronic diseases increase, the need for care is also expected to increase further, putting additional pressure on the already strained health care system.
The urgency of these challenges calls for innovative solutions that can help transform the primary care landscape. The demand for advanced technologies and to improve patient outcomes has never been higher. By using new tools and methods, the Austrian healthcare system can improve its ability to provide high-quality care to its citizens. This not only relieves the burden on healthcare professionals, but also ensures that patients receive the timely and effective treatment they deserve. In this context, the integration of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, offers a promising way to revolutionize primary health care in Austria, but only if the opportunity and potential is recognized, innovation is encouraged, and implementation is scientifically accompanied.
We are currently researching:
DiGas and HealthApps
Large Language Models like ChatGPT
Dr.BA Florian O. Stummer, MPH, MBA
Univ.-Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Kathryn Hoffmann, MPH
A few highlights first
Large Language Model in Primary Care Medicine
Great presentation by Dr. Stummer at the EFPC conference in Barcelona:: https://euprimarycare.org/
But let's let him speak for himself:
As a result of this contribution, Dr. Stummer was invited ad hoc to establish a working group on the topic for the European Forum for Primary Care!
Clinical Language Models (CLM)
By 2025 we want to have established 120 primary care centers in Austria. This would be a unique opportunity to advance the urgently needed digitization and digitalization in parallel. Especially the smooth communication between primary care centers (or basically between primary care providers) and hospitals will be a key element for the reorientation of the health care system in the next decade. And this is where Clinical Language Models (CLM) come in:
Digitalisierung im Gesundheitswesen
Everyone benefits from digitization in healthcare. What is Austria waiting for?
Austria lacks a uniform national digitization strategy
Elective eHealth in Primary Care
For students of the Human Medicine Curriculum an elective course with the title "eHealth in Primary Care" is offered. To register, please use CampusOnline of the Medical University of Vienna. Next date is WiSe 2023/24.
Contents are: History, HealthApps and DIGAs, video consultations, physician:in software and its role in ELGA, ELGA, ChatGPT and LLMs, small introduction to prompt engineering and programming.
A course on ChatGPT: Chances, limits and dangers in medicine & science is in preparation for winter semester 2023/24 as part of the Public Health Block and the KPJ Excellence Program in General Medicine.
Systematic Review on Opportunities, Limitations, and Threats of Large Language Models in Primary Care.
Use of Health Apps for Contact Tracing and Vaccination Certificates during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic in Europe
--> see Eurodata study
Use of video consultations in primary care in Austria
--> see Pricov-19 study
--> see CovFIT study
In Austria, the use of video consultations in the primary care sector was virtually non-existent until 2020 and, until March 2020, hardly conceivable for use in the public healthcare system due to various obstacles on the part of health insurance companies and medical associations. However, due to the necessity to care for patients at home in order to avoid mutual infection in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, first steps were taken. Successful implementation of a video consultation program, however, requires consideration of the interplay between organizational, technical, regulatory, financial, clinical, and social factors and, moreover, how implementing organizations can manage this interplay through effective processes. As part of the above projects, we are exploring the status quo in Austria.
Mixed-method Study on the Use of Video Consultation in Psychological Methodology, Counseling and Treatment
A cooperation project between the Federal Association of Austrian Psychologists and the Department of Primary Care Medicine at MedUni Vienna.
Survey of young physicians on telemedical care and treatment.
Project initiator and coordination: Danube University Krems, Research Lab Society in Transition, Focus on Health and Society, Mag.a Dr.in Christina Hainzl MSc, Isabella Juen, MA
Project committee and institutions:
Medical University of Innsbruck (Vice Rector Univ .Prof. Dr. Peter Loidl), Medical University of Graz (Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Siebenhofer-Kroitzsch), Medical University of Vienna (Univ. Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Kathryn Hoffmann, MPH), Medical Faculty of Johannes Kepler University Linz (Florian Stummer, MPH, MBA, MCHL).
The aim of the survey is to learn about the attitudes of medical students towards telemedical care and treatment. The survey is to be conducted at regular intervals in order to generate comparable data and thus be able to map developments on a data basis. The project follows an interdisciplinary approach, in which social science and aspects of medical care research are taken into account
The Intelligent Ordination Software (LATIDO).
This project was funded by Latido Health Tech GmbH
Project management MedUni Vienna: Prof. Dr. Kathryn Hoffmann, MPH
The aim was to provide advice on a new way of structuring the patient file (structured data entry, specifications for data structure, coding, medical episodes, usability, cross-patient search functions, etc.).
The outcome of this project was a Systematic Literature Review on the topic: video consultation in general medical care (in the elective sector).
The report can be accessed here.