Healthcare is becoming a significant sociol-economic challenge around the globe. For example, US alone spent about US$2.5 Trillion in 2009 (17% of GDP) with an average increasing rate of 6-8% every year. Aging society is becoming a global trend, adding one more level of socio-economic complexity. The unsustainable high healthcare cost is primarily due to inefficient healthcare management system and healthcare provisions, which is life and liability by nature and involves with many stakeholders, including patients, physician, healthcare professionals, hospitals, and insurers.
Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve healthcare quality and reduce costs for ubiquitous healthcare has been recognized and is being implemented as a national priority in major world economies such as Health Information Technology Initiative (Health-IT) (2004-2013) in USA, i2010 Initiative (2006-2010)/Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) (2007-2013) in EU, U-Japan Initiative (2006-2010) in Japan, and 11th Five Year (11-5) Plan (2006-2-10) in China.
To address challenges and opportunities for ICT for Health management and Healthcare, ComSoc created eHealth sub-TC in May 2008, which was elevated to a full TC in December 2009, to provide a multi-disciplined platform for technical information exchange and project collaboration in the area of ICT for Health. The eHealth TC leverages ICT core-competence of current ComSoc Technical Committees (TCs) to explore gap technologies and solutions unique to diverse health and healthcare application requirements through the collaboration with IEEE and non-IEEE partners around the world.