Living Systems

Health Information Systems/Services

Technical Applications


Integrated health information systems will be at the heart of the decision support systems needed to enable physicians, payers, and patients to choose among an array of evolving alternatives.


Integrated health information systems will also be essential to the decision support systems needed to enable community, state, and national public health officials to detect emerging health threats and to allocate resources among competing public health problems that affect the populations as they age.


To capitalize on the natural experiments occurring in health care settings and to identify and evaluate potential cost-effective alternatives for improving the personal and public health care systems is an ongoing challenge. Clinical decision making must be improved, and this could be done by computer-aided diagnostic systems enabling efficient selection by physicians and patients among an increasingly complex range of alternatives in diagnosis and treatments. Improved outcome data on comparable and competitive approaches will provide the basis for informed patient management and the evaluation of alternative services structures.


The breadth of the U.S. artificial intelligence/knowledge based support systems, often developed at universities with close working relationships to major medical research centers, has led to the United States having an unsurpassed base of experienced researchers and demonstration projects. Networking and communications infrastructure will play a significant role in wide-spread application, again an area benefiting from U.S. leadership. European interest in Medical Informatics has also been strong for more than 20 years, with a history of involvement with artificial intelligence decision support research. While the Japanese have shown a strong interest in quantitative medicine and the application of their biosensor technologies, they have not had the extensive development of artificial intelligence decision support systems and have been further limited by user interface, networking and institutional issues.