Experts in technology and medicine use diabetes to illustrate how the tools of information technology can improve patient care.
The healthcare industry has been slow to join the information technology revolution; handwritten records are still the primary means of organizing patient care. Concerns about patient privacy, the difficulty of developing appropriate computing tools and information technology, high costs, and the resistance of some physicians and nurses have hampered the use of technology in health care. In 2009, the U.S. government committed billions of dollars to health care technology. Many questions remain, however, about how to deploy these resources.
In Health Informatics, experts in technology, joined by clinicians, use diabetes—a costly, complex, and widespread disease that involves nearly every facet of the health care system—to examine the challenges of using the tools of information technology to improve patient care. Unlike other books on medical informatics that discuss such topics as computerized order entry and digital medical records, Health Informatics focuses on the patient, charting the information problems patients encounter in different stages of the disease.
Chapters discuss ubiquitous computing as a tool to move diabetes care out of the doctor's office, technology and chronic disease management, educational gaming as a way to help patients understand their disease, patient access to information, and methodological and theoretical concerns. We need both technologists and providers at the drawing board in order to design and deploy effective digital tools for health care. This book examines and exemplifies this necessary collaboration.