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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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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.

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