Infrastructures should make healthcare smart in terms of improving quality and efficiency, enabling novel solutions to hitherto obstinate problems and challenges, as well as facilitating cooperation and coordination across sectors, organisational units, and divides between patients, healthcare professionals, and administration.
In the recent years, we have seen many examples of being smart. General practitioners can prescribe medicine to be immediately available at pharmacies and receive test results digitally. Patients can look into their own health records through a few clicks, and generate healthcare data themselves which can be scrutinized by healthcare staff. Electronic health records facilitate cooperation between physicians, nurses, labs, etc. with sofar unprecedented speed, and across multiple locations.
At the same time, we also see healthcare infrastructures where digitization does not lead to smartness. In the name of Big Data, healthcare professionals are required to do more and more precise documentation leading either to lower productivity or burnout. Envisioned effectivity through IT leads to lay off of support staff for clinicians, such as when secretaries helping physicians and nurses are fired, since IT is supposed to make the latter work smarter and with less support. Further, smart large repositories of data can lead to data-driven healthcare, but also entails risk of large-scale breaches of privacy.
We wish to bring international researchers, healthcare professionals, IT professionals, administrators, and IT enterprises together to discuss these issues at the 7th International Conference on Infrastructures in Healthcare 2019 (See Call for Participation). We particularly invite contributions that are methodologically based on ethnographic/case/field studies.
“Infrastructures for Healthcare” started out as a biennial workshop, from 2019 a biannual conference. The events were held so far in different universities in Copenhagen, Denmark (2007, 2009, and 2011), the Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø), Norway (2013), Fondazione Bruno Kessler and University of Trento, Italy (2015), and again in Denmark, Aarhus University (2017).
The seventh edition will be a conference and take place in Vienna, Austria. The conference will be co-organized with Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) and Aarhus University. Conference papers will be published in the EUSSET digital library (www.eusset.eu). Selected papers from the conference will be invited to submit an extended version to a special issue of a journal (TBA). Each of the conferences has resulted in a special issue: