Since the nation-wide implementation of the universal healthcare in Taiwan, medical institutes have adopted hospital information management systems and image transmission systems to improve the quality of medical care and efficiency of management. In these recent years, along with the development of ICT, both academia and industry have thought that electronic medical records and exchanges as well as smart hospitals would be the goals of the future national medical and healthcare developments. In short, smart hospitals usually adopt the three main information technologies, namely: cloud computing, big data analysis, and the internet of things. Accompany with new applications of the IoT technology, smart wearable, and cloud computing, smart medical and healthcare will enable smart hospitals with ubiquitous and innovative knowledge services. Taiwan Healthcare Information Management Association (THIMA) was founded in 2004. The members include scholars and experts from medical and healthcare information management research and practice fields. The goals are to upgrade national development and research of health information management, and promote academic and practice communications. Since 2006, international academic and industrial symposiums have been held annually. These symposiums have become important academic conferences for the communications of international and domestic scholars and industry experts. There have been 11 symposiums so far.
Due to the increasing importance and attention to applying IT in medical management, healthcare, public health, etc., the developments of e-Health, m-Health, and even u-Health have been seen as the mainstream developments of health information technology in the 21st century. Following the wide reach and progress of information and network technologies, many innovative applications of medical and healthcare in electronic forms and their mobilization in hospitals have been designed, experimented, and promoted internationally and domestically by industry, academia, and governments. For example, there are clinical medical applications: mobile computerized physician order entry, cloud electronic medical records, picture archiving and communication systems, telecare, mobile healthcare, etc.; medical administration and management include: mobile registration systems, hospitalization management systems, smart scheduling systems, executive MIS, CRM, etc. Nevertheless, to fulfill ubiquitous medical care, to maintain the quality of medical and healthcare, and to control the cost of medical and healthcare, smart hospitals and smart healthcare should be one of the main developmental objectives of the next generation of medical and healthcare industry. The main concepts of smart hospitals and smart healthcare lie in the integration of all technology applications, operation processes, and human resource supports in current hospitals. Through smart hospitals, patients can be provided with consistent medical services before, during, and after visiting hospitals. Also, smart hospitals can give right information to patients and medical professionals at the right timing to let patients and even their family members more actively be involved in making medical decisions and to let medical professionals take care of patients in a smarter way and thereby more personalized medical services. In other words, providing smart medical and healthcare via smart hospitals would be one of the best health service models to upgrade and promote medical quality and efficiency.
Although there were international and national symposiums focusing on smart hospitals these two years, adopting ICT to make medical and healthcare more efficient and better suit patients’ need has become everyone’s common goal. The 12th UHIMA symposium expects to set an example and provide a platform for communication and learning about international and domestic healthcare developments on smart hospitals and smart medical and healthcare. The symposium will focus on the three fundamentals, namely, the internet of medical things, big data analysis, and cloud computing, and will have keynote speeches, paper presentations, and panel discussions.
To actively upgrade the quality of medical and healthcare services, to harness the latest IT developments in medical and healthcare, to promote the communications of research results of researchers and practitioners from Taiwan and other countries, and to integrate related resources and experiences, THIMA proposes “smart hospitals: theory and practice” as the conference theme. Specifically, we hope the symposium to achieve the following objectives:
- Redefining “smart hospitals” and understanding the status quo and challenges of “smart hospitals” in the domain of international and domestic medical and healthcare.
- Initiating the platform for the communications of the status quo, trends, and future developments about medical and healthcare information among healthcare industry, academia, and governments.
- Discussing the definition, current developments, and future trends of the internet of medical things.
- Discussing the data mining of medical and healthcare information, including big data analysis, and proposing the reflections on related ethical issues.
- Studying the current developments and future application and development models of cloud computing in the medical and healthcare industry.
- Providing a communication platform for international health information management researchers, practitioners, and officials.