With the advent of 2009, I was looking for something to overview the present situation in Health Informatics. Its time we looked at developing new applications of the technology, besides developing new technologies. Healthcare related use of the internet is a common phenomenon and an estimated 80% of internet users have used it for obtaining health information. People may receive their dose of information from Wikipedia (an albatross?) and other publishing sites like Organized Wisdom and AskDrWiki.
Knowledge body in Health sciences is large and fragmented, and even a treating physician may not have all the data he requires. He needs a way to access all his data easily. There is an urgent need for tools that can aggregate information from multiple sources to improve health care decision making, enhance health management, and produce better patient outcomes. This is one of the main drivers for the use of the Internet in healthcare.
Semantic Web applications and Web 2.0 technologies have yet to be applied to health care. The scope of smart new services in healthcare ecosystem is enormous. Privacy issues are of concern, but use of cloud computing within health care delivery system just cannot be held back.
The role of IT in furthering health rights has not been realized yet. Taking a health rights approach to health IT strengthens the argument for extensive use of IT in health care. Every person has a fundamental right to health, which includes easy access to high quality and best possible care and access to medical information, besides other parameters which have to be satisfied.Technology can prove to be an excellent tool for pursuing Health Rights for All.
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