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