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Building a Global Framework for Digital Health

[Harvard University - World Book]


 "Biomedical Research in A New Health ICT Framework"



- Overview

Digital health - the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to deliver and improve health care - has transformative potential for healthcare around the world. Many digital health products are already proven, easy to use and available in various countries.

Digital health, in particular, can help low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) overcome traditional barriers to improving healthcare, particularly staffing and other physical resource constraints. 

During the current coronavirus crisis, digital technologies are showing their potential by facilitating collaboration among health care researchers and reducing the need for personal care. 

While health data and digital technologies are not a panacea for COVID-19 and other health problems, they are critical to improving the overall health of countries around the world. 

Low- and middle-income countries need to work with international partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and development banks to bring together resources, expertise and strategies to help them realize the true potential of digital health. 


- Biomedical Research are More Interdisciplinary Than Ever

"Biotech is the New Digital" -- [Prof. Nicholas Negroponte, Founder, MIT Media Lab.] 

In the 21st century, groundbreaking research and discovery in the Biomedical Research are more interdisciplinary than ever. Biomedical Research represents the (basic and applied) research activities in the areas of Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacology, Life Sciences, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, New Materials, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Health-related topics. 

These scientists work to understand the biological principles that govern the function of the human body, to discover the mechanisms of disease, and to find innovative ways to treat or cure disease by developing advanced diagnostic tools or new therapeutic strategies for physicians - especially new smart devices that could help transform the detection, prevention, and management of disease. The increased longevity of humans over the past century can be significantly attributed to advances resulting from Biomedical Sciences Research. 

- Biomedical and ICT Convergence

The field of biomedicine is concerned with the application of various natural science disciplines for the development of knowledge, interventions, and/or technologies for use in healthcare. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector focuses on telecommunications, computing, and the integration of both. The convergence of biomedical and ICT represents a high opportunity area for both healthcare and ICT industries. 

In addition to seeking cures to disease and ailment prevention, the convergence of biomedical and ICT technologies and solutions will lead to improved treatment efficacy as well as overall improvements in healthcare service delivery efficiency and effectiveness. 

[Boston, Massachusetts]

- Biotech is the New Digital

In the past decade, tremendous advances in expanding computing capabilities - sensors, data analytics, networks, advanced imaging, and cyber-physical systems - have, and will continue to, enhance healthcare and health research, with resulting improvements in health and wellness.

We’re at the cusp of a major revolution in understanding the workings of the human body. The biomedical sciences are being radically transformed by advances in our ability to monitor, record, store, integrate and analyze information characterizing human biology and health at scales that range from individual molecules to large populations of subjects. 

Data intensive biomedical science is developing new methods for analyzing large-scale biomedical data sets to understand how living systems function and to harness this knowledge in order to understand disease mechanisms and provide improved health care at lower costs. Precision medicine has become a common label for data-intensive and patient-driven biomedical research. Its intended future is reflected in endeavours such as the Precision Medicine Initiative in the USA.

- 4 P's for the 21st Century Medicine

According to Google Ventures, the following top eight life sciences technologies are the most promising and will transform medicine: Artificial Intelligence, Understanding the Brain, Reinventing Antibiotics, Battling Cancer, Genetic Repair, Understanding the Microbiome, Organ Generation, and Stem Cells. 

For example, stem cell research has the potential to revolutionize the way we treat many conditions, including degenerative diseases for which few effective treatments currently exist. Stem cell research is rapidly advancing towards potential therapeutic applications such as tissue and organ replacement, disease modelling and drug testing. 

Dr. Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2004, characterizes 21st century medicine with four P’s: it’s personalized, predictive, preventive – and it should be participatory.


[More to come ...]

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