Healthcare systems under pressure as costs continue to rise

ICT critical to reducing healthcare burden

Advances in ICTwill play a critical role in the future of health with the CSIRO investigating a range of technologies to reduce the burden of spiralling healthcare costs.

International Fellow at CSIRO's e-Health research centre (EHRC) and chief research scientist of ICT for health at VTT technical research centre of Finland, Dr Ikka Korhonen, said healthcare systems in OECD countries face tremendous pressure due to ageing societies, lifestyle related chronic illnesses and increasing health care costs.

"New technologies such as personal health systems, home-based monitoring tools, and wearable and mobile technologies are reforming the delivery of health care and empowering individuals to take a more active role in managing their health," he said.

"Close collaboration with health care providers is essential for achieving better health care through ICT."

Dr Korhonen cited the partnership between EHRC and Queensland Health as an example of the huge potential that is set to be realized over the next few years.

EHRC's chief executive Gary Morgan said through Dr Korhonen's Fellowship, collaborative opportunities in ICT for health between VTT and CSIRO are being explored.

"The Care Assessment Platform (CAP) project being undertaken here at EHRC is an ideal candidate for collaboration with VTT," Morgan said.

CAP's objective is to develop ICT solutions for managing and preventing chronic diseases to reduce the burden on health care systems and improve the quality of service to patients.

Dr Korhonen is EHRC's third International Research Fellow. His research interests include the use of ICT for health and wellness, biosignal interpretation methods and pervasive health care technologies, especially their applications in critical care patient monitoring, personal health systems, ambient assisted living, and e-Health.

CSIRO's EHRC International Fellowships enable international and Australian-based researchers to be seconded from their organisations to undertake collaborative projects under the auspices of CSIRO's e-Health research program.

Established in 2003, the e-Health research centre is a joint venture between CSIRO and the Queensland Government.

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