Global healthcare and the flux of technology

  • Lincoln T
  • Builder C
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Abstract

For Medinfo '98, as an exercise in technological forecasting and analysis, we volunteered to project the direction of healthcare informatics into the next century. This paper is an extended discussion of that presentation. We open with the observation that healthcare informatics is merely one of the many endeavors that is following a turbulent but nearly inescapable path into a digital future. Our objective is to describe as best we can the overall geography of the general path we appear to be on, to anticipate some of our future checkpoints along the way, to identify some of the roughest transitional passages as they apply to healthcare, and to present this as one guide among many to those who have offered to do the steering into this exciting, electronic unknown. Emphasis is placed on the growing importance of information networks, the particular nature of complexity as applied to healthcare communications and healthcare itself, and the impact of the rising costs of what is medically possible in a technological age. Certain evident recent changes in computing technology are singled out for their present and expected importance. The whole is considered from a broader organizational perspective to better understand the turbulence of present times, and what medical informatics might address to ameliorate the most onerous healthcare issues.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Conceptual Searching
  • Future Turmoil
  • Managed Care
  • Mass Customization
  • Organizational Structures
  • SGML
  • Split Economies
  • Technology
  • Web Browser
  • XML

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Authors

  • Thomas L. Lincoln

  • Carl Builder

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