Keynote: Creating a Smart and Connected Health System

Wendy Nilsen
Program Director, Smart and Connected Health
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
National Science Foundation

Personalized medicine and prevention approaches, aided by new sensing, analytics, language technologies, visualization tools and interface methods, have the potential to transform health from reactive treatments based on deviations from population-level data to one in which interventions and prevention are tailored to individual characteristics. While this may be the ideal state, to make this happen will require a range of new fundamental scientific advances across computing, engineering and the behavioral and social sciences in concert with the efforts of the biomedical research community. These partnerships are needed because the solutions to complex health problems and processes must effectively satisfy a multitude of constraints arising from the heterogeneity of data, limitations of cyber physical systems, gold standards and not ground truth, cultural factors, network limits, cognitive challenges, and barriers to patient, provider and caregiver behavioral change. This talk explores the opportunities and challenges in developing a smarter and more connected health ecosystem and highlights promising new areas of research.

Wendy J. Nilsen, PhD
Program Director, Smart and Connected Health Division of Information and Intelligent Systems Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering
National Science Foundation

Wendy Nilsen, Ph.D. is in the lead Program Director in the Smart and Connected Health program. Her work focuses on the intersection of technology and health.  This includes a wide range of methods for data collection, advanced analytics and the creation of effective cyber-human systems. Her interests span the areas of sensing, analytics, cyber-physical systems, information systems, big data and robotics.  More specifically, her efforts include: serving as cochair of the Health Information Technology Research and Development working group of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program; the lead for the NSF/NIH Smart and Connected Health announcement; convening workshops to address methodology in technology in health research; serving on numerous federal technology initiatives; and, leading training institutes. Prior to joining NSF, Wendy was at the National Institutes of Health.