IEEE Access The Multidisciplinary Open Access Journal on: Health Informatics for the Developing World


Introduction/ Overview

We live in a world with growing disparity between the lives of rich and poor. This difference is starkest when one compares the health facilities afforded to the rich living in developed countries and those available to the unprivileged in the developing world. Healthcare in the developing world is fraught with numerous problems—such as lack of health infrastructure and professionals and increasingly limited health coverage. In recent years, the field of health informatics has made great strides towards the improvement of public health systems in the developing world through augmentation of traditional health facilities using state-of-the-art Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Through real-world deployment of these technologies, there is real hope that the health industry in the developing world will progress from its current, largely dysfunctional state to one that is more effective, personalized, and cost-efficient for all stakeholders. One of the most promising health informatics trends—buoyed by the rapid adoption of mobile phone technology throughout the world—is m-health (mobile-health). Such connected health informaticscan usher a new era of personalized health analytics, with the potential to transform healthcare in the developing world.

In conjunction with m-health many other important health informatics trends are also emerging. Exponentially growing heterogeneous data, with the help of big data analytics, has the potential to provide descriptive, predictive and prescriptive insights into future individual and population healthcare needs. Such systems could enhance the overall process of monitoring, diagnosis, and prognosis of chronic diseases. In particular, there is an immense potential for exploiting Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based health informatics in combination with cloud computing, and crowdsourcing for processing big health data and providing novel health services such as remote health diagnostics.

The aim of this Special Section in IEEE Access on “Health Informatics for the Developing World’’ is to present a snapshot of state-of-the-art technology in this important field. Our aim is to catalyze a convergence of growing research interest in health informatics from diverse fields such as ICT for development (ICTD); telemedicine; m-health; e-health; big data for development; biomedical engineering; human computer interaction (HCI), and to present a holistic integration of such approaches in this Special Section. Papers are solicited on novel concepts, models/architecture, and methodologies of health informatics, with a special focus on the viability of such approaches for the resource-constrained developing world.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited, to the following:

Novel health informatics applications for the developing world:

  • Mobile health (m-health) solutions for the developing world
  • Low-cost health informatics solutions for the developing world (both hardware and software)
  • Point-of-care testing and diagnostic solutions for the developing world
  • Innovations in m-health for maternal and newborn health
  • Innovative telemedicine based solutions for the developing world
  • Personalized healthcare and wellbeing solutions for the developing world
  • Innovative health information dissemination solutions for the developing world
  • Energy efficient health informatics solutions for the developing world

  • Application of various health informatics techniques for the developing world:

  • Crowdsourcing-based health informatics solutions in the developing world
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning based health informatics solutions in the developing world
  • Big data/ Multi-modal data analysis based health informatics solutions in the developing world
  • Natural language processing based health informatics solutions for the developing world
  • Personal health records and self-care systems for the developing world
  • Behavioral health informatics based interventions for the developing world
  • Signal (and image) processing based health informatics solutions in the developing world
  • Internet of things (IoT)-based health informatics solutions for the developing world

  • Health informatics issues

  • Reports of practical health informatics deployments in the developing world
  • Accuracy and precision of clinical decision support systems
  • Privacy, security, and governance issues related to health data
  • Ease of usability of health informatics devices
  • Health informatics ethical issues

  • (Note: Research papers from authors of developed countries that could be relevant for the developing world, are also welcome, on any of the topics above)
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    Submission Deadline: 1st July 2017

    Information about Editors

    Associate Editor

    JUNAID QADIR, Information Technology University (ITU), Pakistan

    Junaid Qadir completed his BS in Electrical Engineering from UET, Lahore, Pakistan and his PhD from University of New South Wales, Australia in 2008. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Information Technology University (ITU)-Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. He is the Director of the IHSAN Lab at ITU that focuses on deploying ICT for development, and is engaged in systems and networking research. Prior to joining ITU, he was an Assistant Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (SEECS), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan. At SEECS, he directed the Cognet Lab at SEECS that focused on cognitive networking and the application of computational intelligence techniques in networking. He has been awarded the highest national teaching award in Pakistan—the higher education commission’s (HEC) best university teacher award—for the year 2012-2013. He has been nominated for this award twice (2011, and 2012-2013). His research interests include the application of algorithmic, machine learning, and optimization techniques in networks. In particular, he is interested in the broad areas of wireless networks, cognitive networking, software-defined networks, and cloud computing. He is a regular reviewer for a number of journals and has served in the program committee of a number of international conferences. He serves as an Associate Editor for IEEE Access, IEEE Communication Magazine, and Springer Nature Big Data Analytics. He was the lead guest editor for the special issue “Artificial Intelligence Enabled Networking” in IEEE Access and the feature topic “Wireless Technologies for Development” in IEEE Communications Magazine. He is a member of ACM, and a senior member of IEEE.

    Guest Editors:
    1. Muhammad Mujeeb-U-Rahman, Integrated Medical Sensors (USA) & Information Technology University (ITU), Punjab, Pakistan
    2. Mubashir Husain Rehmani, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Wah Cantt., Pakistan
    3. Al-Sakib Khan Pathan, Southeast University, Bangladesh
    4. Muhammad Ali Imran, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
    5. Amir Hussain, University of Stirling, United Kingdom
    6. Rajib Rana, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
    7. Bin Luo, Anhui University, China