Focusing on the multi-disciplinary e-Health and computational life science domain, EHST’09-CMLS’09 aims at bringing together researchers and practitioners whose work has impact on the development of actual healthcare technologies and related computational methods for life-science research. Such technologies relate to advanced IT solutions and could facilitate activities of great societal relevance.
As acknowledged by the United Nations Development Programme, those nations that succeed in harnessing the potential of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) can look forward to greatly expand economic growth, dramatically improved human welfare, and stronger forms of democratic government. All these opportunities relate to the advances in service delivery, seen for instance in WST (Web-Service Technology). Having nowadays a positive impact on the healthcare service provisioning, WST has emerged and developed as an implementation of SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture). This ‘service orientation’ in turn relates to significant new possibilities for building (through service composition) powerful automated intelligent systems that adequately support sophisticated healthcare processes. These developments are further facilitated by the reduction in both the cost and size of medical equipment. Relevant technological trends concern increasingly pervasive sensing networks, higher processing power, and the ability to transfer data more quickly through both wired and wireless systems. Thus, particularly driven by this research focus, we are interested in the development and use of e-Health services as well as in their related technologies. Such services could actually be executed by ICT applications, being provided on a global scale, through distributed computing environments. e-Health services could therefore bring huge support to medical doctors and nurses, by allowing them, for example, to realize 24-7 remote monitoring of the vital signs of a patient. Such useful improvements could make care provisioning more accessible to broad societal circles – healthcare cost would go down if human healthcare workers are (partially) substituted by automated systems. However, all those impressive technological developments are only part of whole picture. It is to be taken into account that in spite these amazing developments and related large investments, we do not benefit to date from a smooth and commercially viable e-Health service provisioning. Furthermore, the development of e-Health services is currently slowing down, obviously because of the lack of a proper projection of the e-Health solutions in the real life. Hence, it is currently observed how e-Health moves to the phase of ‘disillusionment’ and this is an indication that we need to learn from the experience and be able to better utilize and adopt the advanced ICT for the benefit of health-care.
With an emphasis on the applications of computer, physical, engineering and mathematical models for solving modern challenging problems in life sciences, this joint scientific event aims to bring biologists, medical and health-science researchers together with computational scientists to focus on problems at the frontier of computational life sciences. A goal of this meeting is that the interactions of scientists across several disciplines will lead to the identification of new scientific investigations, shape future directions for strategic research, and help industrial users apply advanced computational techniques for solving practical life-science problems. As another important aspect is to provide opportunities for postgraduate research students to present latest research results and establish links with experts across several scientific disciplines.
EHST – CMLS 2009 main focus is on e-Health services and their related technologies, with a particular stress on the modeling of complex e-Health technology-driven service-provisioning systems. The target of EHST-CMLS 2009 is to address the fundamental modeling challenges related to e-Health services and computational life-science technologies. In approaching such services though, we are mainly concerned with Tele-Monitoring and Tele-Treatment, as two essential directions of supporting healthcare through advanced technology. By Tele-Monitoring we mean the monitoring of the patient’s condition (including the monitoring of vital signs, such as blood pressure and blood sugar), supported by technology systems. By Tele-Treatment we mean performing some forms of treatment from distance, for example through actuators.
These research directions essentially concern the Mobility aspect since both Tele-Monitoring and Tele-Treatment are realized from distance, through advanced mobile devices. There are open questions however, concerning the reliability of mobile technology ‘any time any place’, the operation of devices and batteries in ‘real’ conditions, and so on. The mentioned Mobility aspect points as well to the desired capability of (e-Health) systems to adequately react on changes in their environment, referred to as context awareness. We therefore acknowledge that technology-driven healthcare systems could only be really useful if they are context-aware. Finally, even though current technology helps in offering powerful support, providing the patient with complex and constant healthcare services (while keeping him/her in his/her own environment), there are important related concern, such as security and privacy, which need to be addressed also, since providing powerful (remote) support to patients would only make adequate value if patients’ data is treated in a secure and privacy-sensitive way.
The goal of EHST-CMLS 2009 is therefore to address the fundamental modeling challenges related to e-Health services and computational life-science technologies. We believe that this event will contribute to the dissemination of relevant research results, supporting in this way the wider applicability of advanced technology in healthcare.