Like many other aspects of society, health care is rapidly digitising, which is changing the way in which health services are delivered and the type of services available. Consumers collect data that can inform the delivery of health services through wearable and mobile devices. Health care delivery settings are becoming more fluid with many health care interactions now occurring outside of physical facilities using telehealth and digital applications. Technological change also provides new ways for providers to monitor health status remotely and provides new opportunities for earlier intervention. The aim is to take advantage of data and technological developments to keep people healthier for longer and ensure access to high-quality care that is tailored to a person’s individual clinical, biological and lifestyle profile.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the data sources that can be used to improve and manage health across the health care continuum, in particular how genomic data and data from consumer-facing applications can be bought together with the event-based data that are routinely collected in clinical settings. Additionally, the paper provides an overview of technologies now available to leverage these data sources to inform the delivery of health care and provides examples of how these data sources and technologies have been applied to improve the planning and delivery of health services across the health care continuum. This paper is aimed at both health service planners and researchers working across clinical and public health settings and technologists who have expertise in computer science and engineering who see new opportunities in the digital health sector.
Outline of paper
Section 1: This section discusses the changing nature of health care and how emerging technologies provide new opportunities to use digital data to inform health care delivery across the care continuum.
Section 2: This section describes the health care continuum across the stages of health promotion and prevention, treatment and maintenance. While most health data have traditionally been collected during treatment, there is an increasing variety of data collected that can be analysed to inform all stages of health care delivery.
Section 3: The different categories of information and the new and existing data sources that generate information that can be used across the health care continuum are explained in this section.
Section 4: Major technologies that make sense of data and translate data into insights to inform increasing personalised, consumer-focused care are discussed. The section focuses on artificial intelligence, analysing ‘Omics information and the enabling infrastructure for information discovery.
Section 5: Bringing together the findings of the four previous sections, the final section presents a series of use cases to demonstrate how new technologies are being applied to a variety of data sources across the health care continuum.
Section 6: Summarises the topics covered in the White Paper and discusses the role of the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC).