Wellness and healthcare are central to our lives. The use of information technology is already contributing, in significant ways, to enhancing healthcare delivery and improving the quality of life. However, IT deployments have only scratched the surface of possibilities for the potential influence of computer and information science and engineering on the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare. New computing and behavioral research can lead to transformative changes in the cost-effective delivery of quality and personalized healthcare. Beyond the daily practice of healthcare and wellbeing, basic information technology research can provide the foundations for new directions in the clinical sciences via tools and analyses that identify subtle but important causal signals in the fusing of clinical, behavioral, environmental, genetic, and epigenetic data.
Such basic research is particularly timely now, in light of the national priority to improve human health and the recent passage of healthcare legislation. In addition, we are witnessing dramatic changes in the way care is administered. More and more patients are suffering from chronic illnesses (such as cancer or diabetes) that require continuous attention and care. Of necessity, much of that attention and care takes place outside of hospitals and clinics.
NSF FY 12 Smart Health and Wellbeing (SHB) Program, spanning NSF’s CISE, Engineering (ENG), and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorates