Healthcare has been characterized as a "trillion dollar cottage industry" dependent upon paper records and fragmented, error-prone approaches to service delivery. Recently, however, the healthcare industry is changing, including: the dramatic increase in the amount of information available for making health decisions, the rapidly growing use of the Internet, genome research that opens up opportunity to provide personalized healthcare, and a better understanding of medical errors caused by failures in information management.
Information technology enables the creation of disruptive technologies that can change health care, for example the transition from paper to digital Personal Health Records (PHRs), the growing deployment and use of real-time medical decision support systems and online patient portals, and the emphasis on robust Health Information Systems (HISs). These technologies offer unique opportunities for both improving the delivery of care in medical facilities and shifting healthcare from traditional clinical settings to patient/home-centered settings. That said, adoption of these new, transformational technologies is predicated on the availability of technical solutions and design methodologies to solve problems such as the implementation of privacy requirements and the guarantee of safe operation of HISs.
To address this, TRUST researchers are tackling fundamental issues affecting the design of trusted HISs that are composable from component technologies. A primary concern in HIS design is that privacy and security requirements are frequently expressed in vague, complex and often contradictory laws and regulations. Engineering software systems that are functionally complete, able to adapt to the changing healthcare environment, and can comply with security and privacy laws and regulations is hard, if not impossible, using conventional software and systems design technology. As such, TRUST researchers are using model-based methods to offer a revolutionary way to formally and explicitly integrate privacy and security goals into HIS architectures. While this had led to progress in problem understanding and developing new foundations, TRUST researchers also place strong emphasis on experimental work. Taking advantage of the Center's partnership with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, researchers have developed a testbed for Model Integrated Clinical Information Systems (MICIS) and home-based health monitoring that integrates TRUST research results in a platform used by the medical community for testing and validation.