Healthcare and fast response settings

Healthcare today is rapidly becoming digitalized with all forms of data now more easily collected, shared, transformed, and analyzed. New collaborative possibilities are emerging: Telemedicine, digital patient records, wearable monitors and activity trackers, and precision medicine and new forms of collaboration and coordination. This transition toward the “hospital of the future” often showcases technologies such as Robotics, AI-aided decision algorithms, and integration of very large and complex databases. Further, following the Covid breach, there exists a crucial need to enhance the healthcare system’s ability to reorient its operation to crisis and to respond to changing events. As a result, the research of the Group on Complex Collaboration has increasingly taken a “health” turn.

Our focus in medicine and healthcare explores how specific technologies (medical and otherwise) affect the coordination of work and offer different collaboration possibilities. Whether it is the introduction of robots in surgery, the availability of AI-based diagnostic tools, the digitization of work processes, or responding to Covid, hospitals are becoming true fast response organizations. Yet, the coordination of work and the sharing of knowledge remains highly sensitive and consequential. How to ensure that the relevant diagnosis is made, that care is effectively coordinated, and that relevant caregivers are constantly up to date about patient conditions remain an important challenge. Further, healthcare is rapidly moving towards precision medicine, which offers the potential of better treatment through the integration of genetic information and an increasing array of knowledge objects and digital representations.

Some of our active research projects:

  • Precision medicine, also known as personalized medicine, transforms disease diagnosis and offers more appropriate treatment and health prevention. It does so by considering the unique variant of the disease, the individual’s specific genetic makeup, their health history, and their situated environmental and lifestyle markers. This approach allows healthcare providers to make a more accurate diagnosis and create specialist treatment plans. We are studying how a leading hospital in Canada is undertaking the journey toward personalized medicine and health. The fieldwork will follow how the clinicians and designers will address how to render compatible various data repositories that contain mostly clinical (E.g. demographics, diagnoses, and test results) and administrative data (E.g. patient visit, admission, and transfer data) and integrate them with the collecting and storing a variety of “omic” data, such as radiomic (radiological image data), genomic (gene data), proteomic (protein data), metabolomic (metabolism data), exposomic (environmental exposure data). This is an ongoing collaboration with Anton Andersson and Kathy Malas.

  • Based on field work related to cancer genomics as well as neuroscience consortia We have initiated an innovative program of research to understand how data-intensive science built on the principles of open science is helping spark global health innovation and creating novel knowledge and innovation ecologies. This is an ongoing collaboration with Alberto Cambrosio, Ellen Abrams and Paolo Leone.

  • AI is said to offer great advantages for helping solve complex decision making, coordination, and operational decisions in hospitals. In this current study, we intend to trace how AI is integrated into the process of coordinating resources, schedules, and people in the operating rooms (OR suite) at two leading university-affiliated, tertiary care hospitals. For both hospitals the AI is being developed by the same developer but it is likely that the design and operation of the system will diverge given the different local conditions, needs, and cultures. Understanding these similarities and differences may shed light on how emerging technologies like AI can be effectively incorporated into complex coordination processes in healthcare settings. This is an ongoing collaboration with Samer Faraj and Anand Bhardwaj.