Learning Health System

Learning health systems (LHS) can be defined as “healthcare systems in which knowledge generation processes are embedded in daily practice to produce continual improvement in care” (see Learning health systems, Wikipedia). Healthcare systems here can be at any given scale ranging from a clinic to a nationwide healthcare system or larger, depending on specific topics for discussion.

The concept of LHS was first launched in 2007 by the Institute of Medicine (IoM), US, currently called the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and promotes learning within a defined healthcare system and sharing across healthcare systems. It’s a response to two issues, including the low ratio of medical decisions based on solid scientific evidence and the low efficiency of adopting knowledge in practice. Previous studies suggested that only 4% of medical decisions are made with solid scientific evidence, and averagely it takes 17 years for new knowledge to be widely adopted.

These two issues means that most of us may not receive the best or the most appropriate medical advices in most of time. It may further suggest a lot of ineffective medical treatment, waste of medical resources, unnecessary loss of lives, etc. However, as an initiative for solving these two issues, promising solutions for implementing LHSs seem not yet available.

We all want to have the best or the most appropriate medical treatments, at least to have the options. So we may need a XPRIZE challenge to formulate effective solutions for implementing LHSs to offer such options.

by Steven Wu, Crointel

Interesting! Thank you for adding.

Hi @ajchenx, @synhodo, @arun_venkatesan, @preciouslunga, @NellWatson - We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

@crointel -
I don’t know about this one. It sounds like the technology is in place already for this ‘breakthrough’, including entire systems that enable inter-operability between many different devices. The only piece of the puzzle that’s missing seems to be the regulation that requires healthcare providers to use this technology, or some way to encourage adoption.

Neither one of those can be a prize’s goal. XPRIZE’s focus is almost solely on technology.

@Roey - I’m not sure. Some may be there, while some are not. For example, if you believe that new technologies are needed for ensuring “Healthcare Workforce of the Future”, it’s the same for LHS. It’s because the education, training, HR…of healthcare professionals is important for generating knowledge in daily practice to produce continual improvement in care. Dr. AI is the same. But you might unintentionally point out that the implementation of LHS relies on technical advances in other fields, while it may need some work on regulation…

Hi @AshokGoel, @Anita, @jmossbridge, @esther, @skohli, @ckpeng, @Basil, @jadmclaughlin - What is your take on having an efficient learning health system? How would it impact the future of healthcare systems?

National Academy of Medicine has created a vision of digital health infrastructures. The Learning Health System Series reports are here:


This vision is going to transform healthcare globally over time. Would be crucial to understand how it will rebuild frontline health.
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Yes, and there’s a whole journal for this area of focus.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/23796146

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