General overview

Healthcare is a major societal challenge worldwide. The increasingly ageing population, health inequalities and the social determinants of health make this challenge even greater, as they raise significant issues for healthcare systems that go beyond medical problems.

There is currently a vision towards person-centred, safe, effective, efficient, equitable, timely and sustainable healthcare of high quality. But in order to realise this vision, several challenges need to be addressed first:

  • How can we ensure the continuity of care?
  • How can we integrate and connect distributed and diverse healthcare systems, such as primary and secondary care, or health and social care?
  • How can we enable the seamless collaboration, communication and coordination of different medical teams?
  • How can we support the effective documentation of medical procedures in a paperless environment?
  • And is there a way to speed up healthcare processes and minimise waiting times, while cutting costs?

We believe that technological advances provide important new opportunities to address these challenges. As a first step in this direction, we are exploring the use of formal methods and intelligent workflows for modelling, verifying and supporting healthcare processes. More particularly, we are employing a rigorous methodology for formalising and improving loosely-defined yet complex clinical pathways. The recent use cases of our approach for supporting intra-hospital transfer safety and collaborative work in healthcare teams show encouraging results, thus motivating us to further investigate its usefulness in different healthcare settings.