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

As an editor at O'Reilly Media, Andy Oram brought to publication O'Reilly's Linux series, the ground-breaking book Peer-to-Peer, and the best-seller Beautiful Code. Andy has also authored many reports on technical topics such as data lakes, web performance, and open source software. His articles have appeared in The Economist, Communications of the ACM, Copyright World, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Vanguardia Dossier, and Internet Law and Business. Conferences where he has presented talks include O'Reilly's Open Source Convention, FISL (Brazil), FOSDEM (Brussels), DebConf, and LibrePlanet. Andy participates in the Association for Computing Machinery's policy organization, USTPC. He also writes for various web sites about health IT and about issues in computing and policy.