Globalising Health Informatics: The Role of GIScience

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Journal Article
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 2014, 205 pp. 1168 - 1172
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© 2014 European Federation for Medical Informatics and IOS Press. Health systems globally are undergoing significant changes. New systems are emerging in developing countries where there were previously limited healthcare options, existing systems in emerging and developed economies are under significant resource pressures and population dynamics are creating significant pressures for change. As health systems expand and intensify, information quality and timeliness will be central to their sustainability and continuity. Information collection and transfer across diverse systems and international borders already presents a significant challenge for health system operations and logistics. Geographic information science (giscience) has the potential to support and enhance health informatics in the coming decades as health information transfers become increasingly important. In this article we propose a spatially enabled approach to support and increasingly globalised health informatics environment. In a world where populations are ageing and urbanising and health systems are linked to economic and social policy shifts, knowing where patients, diseases, health care workers and facilities are located becomes central to those systems operational capacities. In this globalising environment, health informatics needs to be spatially enabled informatics.
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