e-Labs and Work Objects: Towards Digital Health Economies

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The optimal provision of healthcare and public health services requires the synthesis of evidence from multiple disciplines. It is necessary to understand the genetic, environmental, behavioural and social determinants of disease and health-related states; to balance the effectiveness of interventions with their costs; to ensure the maximum safety and acceptability of interventions; and to provide fair access to care services for given populations. Ever expanding databases of knowledge and local health information, and the ability to employ computationally expensive methods, promises much for decisions to be both supported by best evidence and locally relevant. This promise will, however, not be realised without providing health professionals with the tools to make sense of this information rich environment and to collaborate across disciplines. We propose, as a solution to this problem, the e-Lab and Work Objects model as a sense-making platform for digital health economies - bringing together data, methods and people for timely health intelligence.