The target audiences for this publication are health care professionals, eHealth and telemedicine specialists and researchers, IT specialists, health care authorities and managers.
Grid computing has emerged as an important new field, distinguished from conventional distributed computing by its focus on large-scale resource sharing, innovative applications, and, in some cases, high-performance orientation. Grid computing is increasingly being viewed as the next phase of distributed computing. Built on pervasive Internet standards, Grid computing enables organizations to share computing and information resources across department and organizational boundaries in a secure, highly efficient manner.
Organizations around the world are utilizing Grid computing today for a whole host of different applications such as collaborative scientific research, drug discovery, financial risk analysis, product design, etc. Grid computing enables, for example, research-oriented organizations to solve problems that were infeasible to solve due to computing and data-integration constraints. Grids also reduce costs through automation and improved IT resource utilization. Finally, Grid computing can increase an organization's agility enabling more efficient business processes and greater responsiveness to change. Over time Grid computing will enable a more flexible, efficient and utility-like global computing infrastructure.
From its inception, the goal of telemedicine has been to overcome the time and distance barriers that separate the caregiver from the patient. Widespread adoption of the technology has been hampered by a number of technological, regulatory and other barriers. Innovations such as computer-based patient records, remote consultations, clinical information systems, computer-based decision support tools, mobile and wireless terminals, community health information networks, and new ways of distributing health information to professionals and consumers are supported by, and in some cases reliant on, the widespread use of networked telemedicine technologies. Grid technology acquires more importance today. The main advantage of application of Grid technology for eHealth is the new and effective opportunities for the establishment and creation of eHealth networks as well as for the implementation of clinical information systems and databases.
eHealth faces a growing need for large computations, pre-operative planning, medical interventions simulation, the building of anatomical and physiological models, surgery support in real time, etc., all of which could be successfully implemented through Grid technology.
The publication "Grid Technologies for eHealth: Applications for Telemedicine Services and Delivery" aims to describe completed and ongoing research eHealth projects and activities in this field. It is planned to present Data/Information/Knowledge Grids as well as Collaborative Grids. Special emphasis will be placed on the following topics: clinical information systems; distribution of computational resources; ensuring image processing algorithm's accessibility; combining image data with other medical data, facilitating data access; bringing affordable solutions to respond to real problems in health care.
Special attention will be paid to the following areas: ePharmacology, eImaging, eClinic and eLearning. Emphasis will be placed on the presentation of the organisation of the clinical information system; timely and secure access of patient data; interoperability of medical databases of heterogeneous content; computing intensive applications and knowledge discovery, eDiagnosis, Virtual Epidemiology.
Recommended topics include, but are not limited to the following:
- Clinical information system
- Clinical diagnosis
- Medical databases
- eHealth networks
- Virtual Epidemiology