ICT for health and well-being
Research content and applications
Health services face today a number of interacting challenges. The drivers that are most often cited include healthcare costs that are increasing as people grow older in OECD countries (and soon everywhere); current lifestyles that contribute towards increased prevalence of chronic degenerative diseases; and the constantly expanding scope of what medicine can do thanks to innovations and advances in life sciences, medicine and technology.
It is generally accepted that major, even radical, changes are required in health services to deliver better health outcomes at an affordable cost. Science, technology and innovation will be a central element in making the transformation possible. We need services that are:
Pre-emptive – better means for prevention
Predictive – predictive tools, genome mapping
Participatory – participation of citizens and patients
Personalised – individually tailored interventions for patients
ICT is a central element in this ongoing paradigm change. At VTT our research competences in this domain are the following:
Processing of biosignals and medical images
Quantitative biology and bioinformatics
These competences are well aligned to address the challenges in the creation of a future health service landscape. Our priorities can be summarized with three objectives:
Application of data mining, systems biology and other relevant methodologies
to discover and develop innovative solutions to early diagnostics and
effective therapies of diseases.
Creating solutions that enable individuals to be responsible and proactive in
managing their own health, well-being and chronic conditions
Supporting knowledge work individuals and health service professionals by
creation of health information infrastructures that make patient data and
medical knowledge available where needed and when needed.
The nature of research carried out in this area is highly multi- and interdisciplinary. We have built over the years a strong collaboration network with relevant research teams outside VTT and also outside Finland. This enables us to address the research questions that we identify with the right mix of competences and skills.