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A Report on the Discovery and Innovation in Health IT Workshop

A Report on the Discovery and Innovation in Health IT Workshop
Computing Community Consortium (12/02/09)

The Discovery and Innovation in Health IT Workshop, cosponsored by the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), attempted to make further progress on productive collaboration between computing and healthcare.  The workshop investigated and characterized near- and long-term computing research challenges and opportunities in healthcare information technology (IT) and identified a spectrum of model proof-of-concept, integrative systems that might fuel fundamental healthcare IT research, according to the University of Utah’s Chris Johnson.  He notes that healthcare and biomedical research have become increasingly interwoven with computing, and he cites the 2004 National Institutes of Health Roadmap’s observation that “because computation is integral to biomedical research, its deficiencies have become significant limiters on the rate of progress of biomedical research.”  Johnson stresses that there must be collaboration between agencies and communities to augment frontier or cutting-edge research at the intersection of computing and healthcare.  Meanwhile, CCC member Beth Mynatt of Georgia Tech says the workshop “allowed space for the discussion of long-term challenges that, when addressed, could also solve many short-term deficiencies.”  She points out that numerous breakout groups at the event concentrated on strategies for patient-centered care, chronic disease management and prevention, and distributed, collaborative care.  In addition, they urged computing research in challenging areas such as ubiquitous computing technologies for chronic disease management; organizational modeling and simulation to forecast the economic impact of future healthcare approaches; machine-learning methods to anticipate future health trends and treatment complications; security and privacy models for distributed, patient-centered care; and workflow and decision-support systems that actively embed health outcome data.


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