The Information Technology Fix for Health

The Information Technology Fix for Health

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New information technologies (IT) hold the promise of better health in a world increasingly coping with chronic illness. The miniaturization of ever-more powerful sensing devices, along with the collection, analysis, and sharing of data, support activities in homes and clinics that let patients have a greater role in their own health care.

This article takes you on a tour of specific technologies, tools, and trends to help you understand what’s been accomplished, what’s feasible in the near future, and why some technologies seem to languish despite their apparent advantages. You’ll also discover how these groundbreaking approaches can help lower the enormous health care costs in the US.

  • Learn how devices and sensors are transforming medical equipment and helping self-monitoring go mainstream
  • Understand how data is gathered, stored, and analyzed, as well as the role shared data plays in clinical research
  • Explore the way IT helps medical teams coordinate, and how "telehealth" enables better patient treatment at home
  • Learn how health IT helps empower patients by providing more transparency in the system
  • Examine the standards in data storage and electronic health records, and weaknesses that need to be addressed in current systems

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Andy Oram

Andy Oram

Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly Media, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. An employee of the company since 1992, Andy currently specializes in open source, software engineering, and health IT, but his editorial output has ranged from a legal guide covering intellectual property to a graphic novel about teenage hackers. His work for O'Reilly includes the influential 2001 title Peer-to-Peer, the 2005 ground-breaking book Running Linux, and the 2007 best-seller Beautiful Code. Andy also writes often for O'Reilly's Radar site (http://radar.oreilly.com/) and other publications on policy issues related to the Internet and on trends affecting technical innovation and its effects on society. Print publications where his work has appeared include The Economist, Communications of the ACM, Copyright World, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Vanguardia Dossier, and Internet Law and Business. His web site is www.praxagora.com/andyo.