Lukas Eksteen, General Manager at Ocean Health Systems tells us how the company is using openEHR to improve its health data solutions.
Can you tell us a little bit about your role with Ocean Health Systems, and what projects you’re currently working on?
I joined Ocean as the General Manager about two years ago and, as well as internal restructuring and repositioning, the company has focused on the current customers and software applications, and how these can be built upon in line with market requirements. The Directors of Ocean Health are medical professionals and very focused on patient health, which extends to Ocean’s software suite which is designed for medical professionals and patients globally. Ocean is one of the pioneers of openEHR, so all our products are based on, or closely aligned with the openEHR space.
Ocean Health is a global organisation with staff and customers in Australia, UK, Europe and the Americas, but when we look at the APAC region – all the small islands around Australia and New Zealand – healthcare is very specific to these regional areas, where access to practitioners or clinicians may not be the same, so we look at how can we make it easier, and simplify software solutions to make them more agile. We need to help provide future structures and frameworks to enable agile environments in smaller and developing regions. We also need to work in partnership with bigger companies, to join as vendor (Industry) partners of openEHR. Being a first in the APAC region, we are partners with Microsoft with an infection control software cloud solution based on openEHR uploaded in Azure that we built in the last year. This is a product we hope can assist third world countries with infection control and management.
In the past, I worked in telecommunications, focusing on health communication, so – blue sky thinking here – what’s to stop us linking and creating opportunities with big enterprise partners in other verticals? They have towers of WiFi connectors, base stations, so openEHR as a solution, as a concept would be great for linking access to solutions and the customer.
The communication of information is our imperative: we are looking into an openEHR Day for the APAC region in 2023/2024, hosted in conjunction with openEHR International, and partnering with other vendors. We have two product-focused videos coming out soon to promote understanding around openEHR and our products. Our infection control solution, Multiprac, is based on an openEHR platform, and our largest customer being in Australia would be vying for the position as holding the most openEHR endpoints in the world.
Tell us about your work with the Australian government
The Australian governmental health care system is using our applications within hospitals and the community and implementing them to shape the entire healthcare ecosystem to include the patient, the practitioner, the clinician, the health facility….
We work directly with the government on some projects and hope to identify the other possible business cases for EHR. We’ve developed a reporting product that’s now being implemented with our customers here in Australia. We think it is going to be a great contribution to the international market as well.
What other projects are in the pipeline?
Ocean has spent a lot of 2022 establishing frameworks within the company and developing a new pipeline of products. 2023 will see some of these new products being built and piloted. We welcome partnerships with other companies involved in openEHR or EHR projects.
We are creating “CKM Rocks”, a low-cost monthly option for an instance of CKM with a small number of assets. We’ve been working for almost a year and a half now on a solution for entry level customers. This could be used for training or for smaller organisations and customers that would like their own instance but don’t want to outlay the money for the asset base required.
What’s in the immediate future for Ocean, and what will you be focusing on in 2023?
2023 will focus on helping our solutions into third world countries, growing partnerships and new product development.
For Multiprac Infection Control solution: Awareness of the importance and availability of automated surveillance tools, which can be integrated with pathology and PAS, streamline workflows, and standardise treatments.
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