ICTs and the Health Sector

ICTs and the Health Sector

Towards Smarter Health and Wellness Models You do not have access to this content

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03 Oct 2013
9789264202863 (PDF) ;9789264202856(print)

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The future sustainability of health systems will depend on how well governments are able to anticipate and respond to efficiency and quality of care challenges. Bold action is required, as well as willingness to test innovative care delivery approaches.

The greatest promise for transformational change is in applications that encourage new, ubiquitous, participatory preventive and personalised smart models of care. A whole new world of possibilities in using mobiles and the Internet to address healthcare challenges has opened up. The potential of mobile devices, services and applications to support self-management, behavioural modification and "participatory healthcare" is greater than ever before.

A key hurdle is, however, the big data challenge, dealing with the exponentially accelerating accumulation of patient data – all of which must be mined, stored securely and accurately, and converted to meaningful information at the point of care. In order to fully exploit the new smart approaches to care, acceptance, privacy and usability issues will also have to be carefully considered.

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  • Foreword

    This report examines the challenges facing health care systems and the strategic directions for a smarter health and wellness future, from both technological and policy viewpoints. It looks at the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and discusses the research and policy options that could further the development of smarter health and wellness systems.

  • Executive summary

    Health and wellness are an increasingly important topic of discussion in all OECD countries because of social and demographic changes, the rise in chronic diseases, and the need to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Emerging smarter models of care

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    • Health and wellness needs

      Smarter health and wellness systems are needed to support better and more efficient care, encourage greater system-wide accountability and facilitate the promotion of healthy lifestyles and independent living. "Smart" technologies can help governments to tackle the current weaknesses in six key components of health systems: service delivery, finance, governance, quality of care, workforce and information. Effective integration of health and social care represents a key barrier to progress.

    • From personalised to ubiquitous care

      The opportunities held out by mobile platforms, the storage capabilities through cloud computing, transmission and processing technologies, new sensing technologies, and computing power are such that it is now possible to deliver care in wholly new ways. The health and social care sectors have been slow to make radical changes. The depth of investment in current structures, innate professional conservatism, regulatory uncertainty, and above all the asymmetry of information and problems related to patient empowerment and accountability have, until recently, held back change.

    • Smart participatory care models

      Better health outcomes require greater patient empowerment. Personally controlled health records, participatory mobile health and health apps, and social networks today provide an environment conducive to more "coownership and co-production" of health and wellness. They represent a new participatory care paradigm and are transforming the ways in which patients connect and communicate, share personal health information, discover and access new care options. The effectiveness, safety and utility of these innovations for accelerating the diffusion of information on healthy lifestyles, fostering behavioural modification and health innovations, including clinical research, require further exploration.

    • Actions to build a smarter health and wellness future

      The OECD-NSF workshop offered an opportunity to discuss and determine areas in which the OECD can provide further policy insight and expertise. Participants focused their discussion on four important cross-cutting dimensions for building a smarter health and wellness future: big data challenges, knowledge generation and use; meaningful innovation; the potential new risks; organisational and social innovation for an integrated care future. This chapter and Chapters 8, 9 and 10 map the current situation in these areas and the ways in which the new smart models of care present challenges and opportunities in each.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Key challenges and opportunities for a smarter health and wellness future: Expert contributions

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    • Objectives and issues in integrating social care and health care delivery

      Sharing patient information, medical or care plans with care-givers across the social and health care sectors requires significant changes of mind-set, as well as new and clear governance and accountability models. This chapter outlines the key issues needing deeper policy discussion and concordance at societal and organisational level.

    • Integrating personalised medicine into health care: Opportunities and challenges

      Personalised medicine as a new concept entails a paradigm shift in medical practice and faces a range of challenges: the science is emerging and complex, regulatory pathways are not optimal, and health care financing and delivery create barriers to adoption. This chapter discusses the opportunities that the successful implementation of health information technology could bring to further personalised medicine.

    • Managing our own health and well-being: Australia's personally controlled electronic health record

      This chapter outlines the work Australia has done to achieve the vision of an open, shared architecture in health care. It reviews the key milestones of the national eHealth agenda: from the formation of an integrated infrastructure and development of common standards, to the development of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record to increase consumers’ engagement and control over their medical information.

    • Strengthening our capability to analyse big data streams in health systems: The challenges

      In a broad range of health areas, data is being collected at unprecedented scale, and the quantity and quality of personal health data has grown exponentially and will continue to grow in the future. As technology pushes forward, the diversity of personal information, such as genomic data, laboratory data, diagnostic data, and image data, will also continue to rise. This chapter examines how the opportunities to learn and generate value from big data systems will depend on the statistically valid use of this information.

    • Building a smarter health and wellness future: Privacy and security challenges

      This chapter explores emerging privacy and security challenges for health information technology (HIT) that call for new ideas. Six key challenges are identified and discussed: access controls and audit, trusted base, automated policy, mobile health, identification and authentication, and data segmentation and de-identification.

    • Converging technologies for a smarter health and wellness future

      Many of today’s technological and scientific developments are breaking the boundaries between nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive sciences. This chapter discusses the scope and impact of this change and how the many different data challenges that are emerging suggest the need for a new informatics era. It analyses the governance issues and considers possibilities for international action to help further the use of converging technologies for a new data-driven, smarter health future.

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