Biomedical databases: an e-healthcare perspective
by Prakash M. Nadkarni
International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management (IJHTM), Vol. 3, No. 5/6, 2001

Abstract: Databases are integral components of biomedical computing solutions. An overview of database technology, with biomedical applications, is provided. The greater complexity of clinical data compared with the ''business'' data of a healthcare organisation is one reason for the difficulty of its computerisation. E-healthcare will require data contained in patient records, as maintained by multiple healthcare providers, to be accessible by a wide variety of software. Such interoperability is facilitated by data interchange standards, which are increasingly likely to be based on XML (Extended Markup Language). XML's strengths and limitations are discussed. In addition to patient data, reference data from other sources may be brought to bear on special analytical tasks that can improve healthcare quality. Nationally accessible databases, such as those maintained by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, can be particularly useful for this purpose and their importance will increase as the scope of e-healthcare broadens in the future.

Online publication date: Mon, 30-Jun-2003

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