Date: Tuesday, 09.06.2015, 14:15–15:00

Place: C114, Kronstad

Speakers: Wendy MacCaull, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada

Title: Health Care Systems – the Ultimate Ultra Large Scale Systems


Abstract (.docx version):

Incorporating information and communication technology in health services delivery continues to be a both a tremendous challenge and a great research opportunity for computer scientists and software engineers. To be successful, we must develop and nurture collaborations among a highly interdisciplinary group of scientists, technologists, clinicians and other users and industry partners. In this talk, I will outline a number of the research thrusts I have been involved in over the last decade in an effort to develop a process, communication and information management system– a Careflow Management System – suited for community based health care programs in a rural area. I will briefly discuss our approach and advances with respect to some of the basic scientific problems underlying flexible, intelligent, and failsafe systems including the use of MDA principles to build systems, the use of ontologies to drive systems, the use of high performance computing for time sensitive reasoning about systems, the use of the semantic web to provide services to systems, and the need for close collaborations among users, developers and other professionals to develop simple intuitive interfaces that work well for all stakeholders.


In developed countries, the health care system is evolving toward a decentralized service model as opposed to a hospital based care model, in order to reduce cost and increase effectiveness. Smart devices can keep people, especially elderly people, happier, healthier and remaining in their homes rather than in care facilities. In the developing world, ICT has the potential to reach millions with healthcare solutions currently unavailable to them. The learning curve is steep for traditional academics as well as for healthcare and other government bureaucrats who wish to get involved in applications such as this. However, the skills and knowledge of the computer scientists and software and other engineers are urgently needed to put sciences into software and realize the potential of the modern digital age for the ultra large scale system making up the health services sector.