In the United States of America, health expenses in 2002 totaled an estimated $1.5 trillion, an astounding 12.6% of GDP. High healthcare costs mean that a large segment of America simply cannot afford serious illness. Forty-four million Americans have no health insurance. While they understandably fear getting sick, they also have other reasons to avoid a hospital stay. Healthcare activities are therefore performed in a multitude of locations, and important information is lost because there is no effective way to capture it, access it, update it or share it.
HealthNet is designed for the American public, but it is a generic model, adaptable in part or in whole to societies around the globe as their technological capabilities permit. By tracking, storing, and transmitting personal medical data, Healthnet enables individuals to join in managing their own health and well-being. Available by network to medical providers in times of consultation or emergency, real-time, on-demand information enables individuals to receive high-quality health care wherever they may be, promptly, securely and reliably.
To provide twenty-first century health care across society, HealthNet has been designed as an infrastructure of advanced information technologies networked across the nation, region or globe, and supporting a broad collection of user-centered applications.
The combination of healthcare infrastructure and applications will provide users throughout society with systemic, integrated means for managing health care. Health care administrators and researchers will be able to track and respond to public health problems in real time. Individuals will be empowered with the tools to make informed decisions tailored to their personal health needs. Caregivers will have equal access to their patients and the medical expertise they need to deliver optimum supportive care.