Lincoln academics research online medical log which could help predict cancer
A new computerised system which will allow people to carry their health records with them is being researched by University of Lincoln academics.
A team is hoping to build an application or program which will store each user's electronic health records and data about daily activities and family history.
Professors from the University of Bedfordshire, who are leading the project, hope the information could even prevent diseases like cancer.
The research project began on March 1 and Dr Xujiong Ye, a reader in the school of computer science at the University of Lincoln, is also working on it.
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She will use computers to analyse medical images and detect problems in organs. It is hoped this will help doctors make a better diagnosis than they are able to with X-rays or scans.
"We will develop novel approaches using advanced computing technology which will enable us to detect a range of cancer diseases," Dr Ye said.
"It is expected that the availability of such information will help solve many uncertain cases caused by the ambiguity of data that is often seen at a single level from scans or X-rays.
"For example, the analysis of histology images will provide significant measures to reach more trustworthy decisions for the detection of abnormal structures."
The MyHealthAvatar project is designed to give people more knowledge and control of their health via their computers and mobile phones.
The three-year £2.1 million study will build a continent- wide record of individual citizens enabling effective treatment should travellers become unwell anywhere in the EU.
"We aim to build an infrastructure framework to allow us to collect all the health information required so we can create a 4D digital representation of the patient," Dr Ye said. "This project is expected to exert a major influence on the reshaping of future healthcare in the handling of increased life expectancy and the ageing population."
Professor Feng Dong, of the University of Bedfordshire, is leading the project, funded by 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development and believes it "could reshape the future of healthcare".
"With today's technology it is possible to use a person's information from sites such as Twitter and Facebook to give us more details about a patient," Prof Dong added.
"With mobile phone tagging it is also possible for the system to show where the patient has been.
"So, for example, if they are regularly in the pub, it could suggest to the user that they are drinking too much."