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Argus rides with Intel technology

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The organisers of The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour are deploying Intel technology to support the health and safety of riders at this year’s race. Intel has donated two Intel Xeon quad core-based servers to power a database of the race’s 40 000 entrants whose medical details have been recorded.

The electronic patient records are managed by Medi-Clinic’s Bluespier system which handles the medical history, pre-race assessments and Race day medical assessment data for every participant. The servers are linked to 22 notebook PCs situated at 5 stations along the route, at the End Tent and the Operations Centre at Tygerberg Hospital, as well as a further two units situated at the Constantiaberg and Cape Town Medi-Clinics.
The Intel Centrino-based computers are connected wirelessly which enables them to exchange data with the servers at all times.
As riders stop at each point, their medical status is updated to allow the Medi-Clinic team to observe and record observations on and treatment of each cyclist . This means that cyclists  experiencing extreme dehydration, injury  or any other condition that places them in any sort of precarious situation, will be identified earlier and more easily, and will be managed accordingly.
Dr Basil Banner, medical director for the Cycle Tour and Head of Emergency Centre at the Milnerton Medi-Clinic, says: “By monitoring the medical status of each cyclist we are better able to relocate resources when and where they are needed, ensuring a more rapid response to emergencies and fewer delays to the race itself. We are able to identify those at risk and monitor their progress, flagging those entrants whose status may change for the worse.”
Data monitored by the system includes blood pressure, cardiac and pulmonary data, medical histories, etc. Reports can be drawn at any time and any point of the race, listing information about the race in general or cyclists more specifically. Trending is also possible, making the overall system very dynamic. Patient diagnoses are stored in the ICD 10 format, the standard used for South Africa’s health informatics and this will make the trending exercise far more uniform and beneficial than in the past.
Patients can be prioritised according to diagnosis and trends such as areas where dehydration occurs the most, incidences of heat stroke, and causes of falls can be identified to enable organisers to create a safer environment for future races.
Dr Gregory Cline of Intel South Africa adds: “The emphasis with the Cycle Tour in terms of Intel’s Digital Health Platform is wireless mobility where at risk patients can be identified and treated at any point along the race route. The concept of Digital Health revolves around the ability to diagnose and treat patients wherever they are by accessing their records seamlessly and rapidly. Data remains secure within the system but available to medical staff when and where they need it.
"The 40 000 Cycle Tour entrants volunteered their medical information for this system, proving a willingness by all stakeholders to ensure the effectiveness of the system.”
Adds Cline: “Intel works closely with both public and private healthcare providers in South Africa to make electronic medical records a reality. The benefits to both doctors and patients of instant access to critical data have been proven internationally and South Africa is poised to enhance its own healthcare system in the same way.”