National Digital Infrastructures for Healthcare: A Comparative Case of Estonian and British Healthcare Infrastructure

Working Paper No. 8 (May 2018)

This paper presents a comparative case study between the technological healthcare systems of Estonia and Britain. It describes these two nations’ digital infrastructures: socio-technical collections of information communication technologies and networks along with standards, institutions, data practices, policymakers, professionals, support staff, and patients. On this basis, the paper posits three research questions: What are the characteristics of the Estonian and British digital infrastructures for healthcare? How does digital infrastructure for healthcare influence the patients connected to that infrastructure? What are the key factors of digital infrastructures for healthcare? 

To examine these research questions, the paper explores seven themes of digital infrastructure) relationality, integration of heterogeneity, sustainability, standardization, scaling up/extension, the distribution between human work and technological delegation, and the always-ready social characteristic of digital infrastructure) and presents recommendations for future directions of each respective system.

Matt Willis is a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, studying automation and computerisation in the NHS system. His research interests include sociotechnical systems in healthcare settings and patient oriented infrastructures.

 

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