Health IS

Pervasive computational systems are among the most recent, promising and disruptive developments in medical Information and Communication Technology. They range from the usage of standard laptop computers, tablets, terminals and phones to more specific home-based web appliances. There is a mounting profusion of web-connected sensing devices in varying stages of development. Some are wearable mobile devices and still others are intended for use only in the home. This is an area where research towards a systematic approach to their deployment and integration is only taking its first steps. Early results suggest that this is one of the most important innovations for the future health care systems. It will have an impact that spans from novel opportunities to deliver care at the patient's home to laboratory medicine that is not only integrated but in fact involved in the choice of therapy. The transformative nature of these opportunities suggests that the work towards the development of pervasive ICT for health care systems needs to be specifically targeted by research programs.

Healthcare 4.0

The intensive monitorisation, formal description and exhaustive representation of clinical workflows and other medical processes are the collective blind spot of present-day health sciences. In Germany, the development of high-tech “smart processes” was dubbed Industrie 4.0 1 and described as a fourth industrial revolution. The required automation technology is improved by the introduction of methods of self-optimisation, self-configuration, self-diagnosis and cognition. This is also seen as an apt description of what is desirable for the future of ICT in the medical environment. Health care should – on all levels – be supported by secure IT-platforms enabling clinical workflow engines that map health-care related processes while integrating pertinent data-analysis, visualisation and engineering tools. The key advantage of this novel approach to process specification is that it promises to remove the intrusive nature of current health-related ICT that often disrupts, rather than assists, the development of integrated and efficient care-delivery practices. However, given the early stage of development of this new system, it still needs to be explicitly demonstrated, e.g. by comparative effectiveness research, that the envisaged new clinical-workflow platforms can be used easily and deliver improved clinical outcome and cost effectiveness.


Related publications

Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Kowatsch, T., Büchter, D., Brogle, B., Dintheer, A., Wiegand, D., Durrer, D., Xu, R., l’Allemand, D., Schutz, Y. & Maass, W.

Health Information System for Obesity Prevention and Treatment of Children and Adolescents, European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2014, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2014.
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Büchter, D., Kowatsch, T., Pletikosa, I., Schütz, Y., L`Allemand, D., Maass, W. & Laimbacher, J.

A longitudinal study assessing an IT-supported neurological feedback in obesity intervention for children and adolescent emotional self control, fPmh2014 - 3rd annual congress foederatio Paedo medicorum helveticorum - Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Pädiatrie, 2014.

Maass, W. & Varshney, U.

Design and Evaluation of Ubiquitous Information Systems and Use in Healthcare, Decision Support Systems, 2012(1), pp. 597–609.
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Deus, H. F., Correa, M. C., Stanislaus, R., Miragaia, M., Maass, W., de Lencastre, H., Fox, R., Almeida, J. S.

S3QL: A distributed domain specific language for controlled semantic integration of life sciences data, BMC Bioinformatics , 2011, 12(285).
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Almeida, J., Deus, H. & Maass, W.

S3DB core: a framework for RDF generation and management in bioinformatics infrastructures, BMC Bioinformatics, 2010, 11(387).
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