Complexity Science for Health and Health Systems

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Guest Editor
Dr. Sergio G. Camorlinga
Applied Computer Science Department, The University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, Canada
Email: s.camorlinga@uwinnipeg.ca

Manuscript Topics
Health is broadly defined as the physical or mental condition in good or ill state of an individual, while a Health System is any organization of people, institutions and resources that deliver services to support the health of the individuals. In both Health and Health Systems, there are a lot of systems consisting of many components that interact in a variety of ways to give rise to system properties that are not easily explained from the component relationships and actions. The system properties are also affected by environmental factors and other systems where they exist, making it more challenging to understand and manage them. Due to the intricacies of their components and environment, these systems are called complex systems.

Complexity Science studies the dynamics, information processing and evolution of complex systems. Complexity Science is an evolving field and relatively new realm which provides some fundamental concepts and methodology to get insights and understanding of complex systems.

For instance a person can have or not have type-2 diabetes as a physical condition. The existence or not of type-2 diabetes is a consequence that arises out of the individual eating habits, obesity, lifestyle, exercise behaviors, age, genetic susceptibility, and insulin resistance among many others. The person has a complex system which gives rise to the appearance or not of type-2 diabetes. Each of these components relate to each other and their environment in a variety of ways unique to the person. Furthermore each of these components can be considered a complex system by itself. Complexity science can provide a holistic methodology to understand type-2 diabetes for an improved prevention and management of the chronic condition. Wait times at the hospital emergency department is another example of a system property.

Wait times is considered an important measure regarding the quality of care provided. Large wait times can have a negative impact on the care outcome. Although resources, protocols and personnel are allocated to the emergency department, a large variability of wait times is observed in many hospital settings. A complex system exists in the emergency department that give rise to the observed wait times.

These two instances briefly exemplify two emergent system properties from Health and Health Systems where Complexity Science can provide insights for their management. This special issue encourages and invites academics, practitioners and researchers to contribute original research articles, review articles, case reports, or viewpoints regarding important aspects and application of Complexity Science for Health and Health Systems.

Keywords: Complexity science, health, health systems, complex systems, emergence.

Paper submission
All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed before their acceptance for publication.
The deadline for manuscript submission is 30th November 2016.

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