Nov. 12, 2002
Twenty years ago, Informatics was seen as a component part of the problem in delivering effective healthcare at affordable cost, not least because of a number of hugely costly and embarrassing software system failures. Nowadays, Informatics is seen as part of the solution.
We begin the presentation by discussing the challenges and opportunities for Healthcare Informatics, then illustrate some of the many ways in which Informatics is impacting healthcare delivery. These include (intelligent) signal and image analysis; planning, monitoring and assisting minimally-invasive procedures; and AI systems that support patient management (for example, advice on chemotherapy or pain relief). We then speculate on some of the trends that we expect to see develop over the next twenty years (ever mindful of the observation by that philosopher of our age : “prediction is never easy, especially when it concerns the future”). These are certain (!) to involve many of the following technologies: image analysis, modelling (eg geometry, biomechanics), robotics, large-scale software development, and the Grid.
Finally, we pose the question of which organisational structure to maximise potential contributions to developing Healthcare Informatics.
Michael Brady (Oxbord University)