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The digitalization of healthcare places new demands for society and technology

Healthcare Digitalization is not about technology alone. That’s why the InfraHealth conference 23.-24. September brings together researchers on Information Technologies, Healthcare and the Social Sciences. 

Vrimlehallen, Campus Kristiansand
The conference InfraHealth takes place at UiA 23. - 24. September

Researchers from various disciplines come together next week at the 8th International Conference on Infrastructures in Healthcare. The conference 23.-24. September has the title InfraHealth 2021: Digitalization and Personal Health Data, and is co-organised by the University of Agder, the University of Oslo and Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien). The focus is on personal health data and their use through new types of applications, the use of AI and new types of work processes.

Polyxeni Vasilakopoulou

Professor Polyxeni Vasilakopoulou studies the dynamics and governance of information infrastructures and is one of the organizers of the conference. She says the conference addresses the transformations related to healthcare digitalization:

– More personal health data are collected in digital form than ever before. Through mobile phones, smart watches and other connected devices patients can self-report health data, monitor their chronic conditions, support their rehabilitation process, engage with personal wellness actively, by following training and activity data. This requires appropriate infrastructure capabilities, data sharing platforms and governance arrangements for data storage, curation and access as well as for having control of personal health data. It also requires new skills for both citizens and healthcare workers and new approaches to manage consent and data guardianship, says Vasilakopoulou. 

Interdisciplinarity is key when it comes to understanding the use of new technology, according to Vasilakopoulou.

– Healthcare Digitalization is not about technology alone, it occurs at the intersection of people, healthcare systems and technology. In the conference we will discuss experiences from the use of digital applications during the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g, related to tracing apps and video-consultations), ethical challenges related to privacy, democracy and accountability, and the dynamics of data-driven change (e.g, opening-up digital platforms). We will also discuss large IT project challenges, new data practices and the evolution of digital infrastructures. 

Read more about the conference here.