proaches to health, Tony Solomonides, from the University of the West of England, discusses his current work to automate policy and regulatory compliance to allow health information sharing. He describes the implementation of attribute-based access controls to ensure enforcement of privacy obligations which—due to variations in their interpretation between EU countries—require a logic-based computed approach.

HIT holds great promise to increase quality and improve patient safety in developing and transitional countries. Harvard University’s Ashish Jha describes how a dearth of reliable information has impeded efforts to better understand and design solutions to higher rates of adverse event–associated morbidity in developing countries, as well as obtain an accurate calculation of global disease burden. Dr. Jha describes an effort by the World Health Organization to maximize the impact of HIT in resource-poor settings through the development of a minimum dataset that would allow for systematic data collection to address safety issues.

David Buckeridge and John Brownstein from McGill University describe how HIT is enabling dramatic changes in domestic and international infectious disease surveillance. Detailing how the digital infrastructure can enhance existing systems through the use of automation and decision support, the authors also address novel approaches to surveillance enabled by recent informatics innovations. Using the DiSTRIBuTE project as an example of innovations in syndromic surveillance that drastically improve coverage and speed, they call for a renewed science of disease surveillance that embraces information technology as well as the potentially disruptive changes it brings to improve disease control.


Brendan Delaney, M.D.
King’s College London

The underlying concept of TRANSFoRm is to develop a “rapid learning healthcare system” driven by advanced computational infrastructure that can improve both patient safety and the conduct and volume of clinical research in Europe.

The European Union (EU) policy framework for information society and media, identifies e-health as one of the principal areas where advances in information and communications technology (ICT) can create better quality of life for Europe’s citizens (Europe’s Information Society, 2009). ICT has important roles in communication, decision making, monitoring, and learning in the healthcare setting. TRANSFoRm recognizes the need

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