ICTs and the Health Sector

Towards Smarter Health and Wellness Models

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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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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.


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