SMART HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS
Modern healthcare saves human lives and improves the quality of life. The average life expectancy has increased by five years in the past two decades. The wide-ranging impact of healthcare on billions of people around the globe has spurred enormous interdisciplinary research efforts and remarkable innovations.
However, for decades, healthcare has been confined to clinics/hospitals. It has failed to utilize patient data obtained from the daily context, thus missing out on the ability to catch a disease in its early stages. Recent years have seen such deficiencies beginning to get addressed by advances in daily healthcare enabled by IWMDs, i.e., Wearable Medical Sensors (WMSs) and Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs). The possibility of daily healthcare monitoring, in conjunction with conventional clinical healthcare, promises to usher in a new era of smart healthcare.
Despite remarkable progress over the past few decades, the clinical healthcare system in the world and Uganda specifically is still far from being optimal. For example, a recent study shows that Preventable Medical Errors (PMEs) accounted for more than 251,000 deaths in 2013, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S. hospitals after heart disease and cancer.
This is substantially higher than the 98,000 deaths due to preventable medical errors mentioned in the 1999 IOM report [Kohn et al., 2000]. Computerized information systems, e.g., Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSSs) and Electronic Health Records (EHRs), provide physicians and healthcare providers with intelligently filtered clinical suggestions, thus can greatly improve the quality of clinical healthcare.
More than 66% of EHR-based CDSSs have been shown to significantly improve clinical practice in the long run. As a result, more hospitals and clinics are adopting CDSSs and EHRs to assist physicians.