Inequalities in health have been documented for hundreds of years. The causes of these inequalities are complex and related to social, medical, environmental, class, healthcare system and behavioral determinants. Currently governments and healthcare systems are struggling to effectively reduce these differences. In addition, the number of individuals with chronic diseases is rapidly growing, particularly in developed nations. Most of the care needed for effective management of these chronic diseases is performed outside of the hospital setting by non-physicians. However the world's healthcare systems are primarily oriented toward acute, hospital based emergency care and therefore currently largely unable to effectively and consistently provide high quality care to every person.
Recent developments in the computer industry have led to major advances in scientific research capabilities and in like manner will, in the future, likely enable significant advances in the field of compunetics. By enabling the instantaneous capture and utilization of large amounts of diverse data, IT will facilitate a population level orientation in compunetics in addition to the current focus on individual patient applications. Similarly the development of behavioral compunetics or a focus innovative uses of technology to influence health behaviors of patients and physicians are on the verge of occurring. In so doing, these and other advances in compunetincs may significantly increase our ability to provide high quality community oriented care, improve the health of individuals and populations and thereby help reduce health inequalities.
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