Digital Health Services Laboratory


Healthcare systems around the world are in desperate need of reform, facing rapidly increasing service costs and aging population. In order to improve the sustainability of their healthcare systems, many jurisdictions have invested significant resources in the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in support of healthcare. Such, so-called eHealth, technologies include electronic healthcare records, clinical decision support systems, and tele-medicine applications.

Healthcare is an information-intensive domain, involving a diverse set of collaborating service providers who need to access and exchange patient-related data. Many of the inefficiencies and cost overruns experienced in healthcare systems around the globe today are associated with a lack of access to relevant information. Common examples of inefficiencies include: unnecessary duplication of laboratory work, cancellation of scheduled treatments because of missing data or prerequisites, prescription of unnecessary or adverse drugs, low adherence to preventative care guidelines because relevant data for generating alerts and reminders is not available, erroneous prioritization in waiting lists due to missing data and adverse events because of missing counter-indications.

While ICT has played an important role in supporting financial and administrative functions for the healthcare industry, these technologies have only recently been introduced to support functions at the point of care. Recent surveys have found that less than half (43.9%) of physicians were using some form of electronic medical record (EMR). With 20.5% using EMRs with basic functionality and only 6.3% using a fully functional EMR. Even in jurisdictions with high EMR adoption, systems are often used as data stores, and data exchange over the Internet is lacking.

Focusing on education, research and innovation, the Digital Health Services Laboratory (DHSL), aims at exploring possible solutions of the aforementioned problems through the delivery of patient-centric healthcare IT innovations. To this end, the DHSL’s research activities focus on emerging research and development areas in the eHealth field. In particular, the research activities of DHSL members fall into the following areas:

  • Healhcare Information Systems
  • Workflow-based Healthcare Systems
  • Electronic Medical Records
  • Personal Health Records
  • Service-oriented architectures in Healthcare
  • Healthcare Systems Security
  • Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing in Healthcare
  • Cloud Computing in Healthcare
  • Electronic Healthcare Services
  • Semantic Web in Healthcare
  • Knowledge Management in Healthcare
  • Technology-based Healthcare Training.