eHealth, AAL, and Imaging
The research area covers the enhanced integration of ICT in healthcare procedures including hospital issues, emergency missions, home care, rehabilitation, and prevention. In particular on the field of emergency missions, RWTH research institutes can be considered among the leading institutions worldwide. Overall, strong professional competencies exist in Faculties 1,4,6,7,8,10.
The term eHealth addresses healthcare supported by ICT in general. Mobile health applications on mobile phones are also known as mHealth. AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) addresses ICT methods and concepts to support the daily life in private homes in a sensitive manner. It covers solutions to preserve the independence of those people requiring medical care, daily assistance, or help to overcome physical disabilities.
The field is obviously an important societal issue in general. Recently, it became even more prominent due the demographic changes in our society, in particular in Europe. However, due to the age distribution of its society, and also due to the untroubled relation of its citizens towards robotics, Japan is currently playing a leading role in the field of AAL. An important subfield of the eHealth sector is formed by questions addressing “imaging” comprising for example automated analysis, compression methods, data archive, data management and data sharing of X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, ECGs and other medical images types.
The whole area has a strong link to the field of distributed systems since in general eHealth and AAL systems are not of a monolithic structure. Rather, current architectural approaches focus on the development of common system platforms which permit seamless integration of diverse solutions and components, even on an ad-hoc basis.
Furthermore, an important and highly interdisciplinary part of the research on eHealth considers the aspects of cyber-security, trust, acceptance, etc.