Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The majority of operational systems in medicine and health care in Europe perform administrative functions, and have traditionally been centralised. Decentralising systems among user departments is increasing, following the pattern in the USA. At the same time, information technology is an integral part of many instruments, notably imaging, and is embedded in much of the equipments. For some clincal functions it is beginning to be used to assist in diagnosis and treatment. At present it is not usual that these systems are capable of connecting with each other, though there is an obvious advantage in their communnicating, for example for the automaic transfer of chargeable data into accounts and to third-party payers, and the automatic inclusion of patient details and current episode with images. Information Processing and Communication Facilities is invading the Hospital so quickly that it is difficult to envisage real cooridination from the organisational point of view.

An urgent need is developing to rationalise and optimise the management structure, the resources sharing, the hospitalisation and treatment of the patient. In particular, the diagnostic imaging department of the future will make extensive use of computer networks, mass storage devices, and sophisticated workstations at which humans and machines will interact, assisted by techniques of computer vison and artifical intelligence, to achieve integration of multimodality imaging information and expert medical knowledge.
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