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Disruptive Technologies for Environment and Health Research: An Overview of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Internet of Things

1
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
2
Center for Strategic Technologies in Health (NUTES), State University of Paraiba (UEPB), Campina Grande, PB 58429-500, Brazil
3
Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 3M6, Canada
4
Research Institute for Aging, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2J 0E2, Canada
5
Department of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
6
eHealth Innovation, Techna Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203847
Received: 16 August 2019 / Revised: 5 October 2019 / Accepted: 7 October 2019 / Published: 11 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Change and Health)
The purpose of this descriptive research paper is to initiate discussions on the use of innovative technologies and their potential to support the research and development of pan-Canadian monitoring and surveillance activities associated with environmental impacts on health and within the health system. Its primary aim is to provide a review of disruptive technologies and their current uses in the environment and in healthcare. Drawing on extensive experience in population-level surveillance through the use of technology, knowledge from prior projects in the field, and conducting a review of the technologies, this paper is meant to serve as the initial steps toward a better understanding of the research area. In doing so, we hope to be able to better assess which technologies might best be leveraged to advance this unique intersection of health and environment. This paper first outlines the current use of technologies at the intersection of public health and the environment, in particular, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The paper provides a description for each of these technologies, along with a summary of their current applications, and a description of the challenges one might face with adopting them. Thereafter, a high-level reference architecture, that addresses the challenges of the described technologies and could potentially be incorporated into the pan-Canadian surveillance system, is conceived and presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: environment; global health; surveillance system; climate change; disruptive technologies; IoT; blockchain; artificial intelligence; reference architecture environment; global health; surveillance system; climate change; disruptive technologies; IoT; blockchain; artificial intelligence; reference architecture
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M. Bublitz, F.; Oetomo, A.; S. Sahu, K.; Kuang, A.; X. Fadrique, L.; E. Velmovitsky, P.; M. Nobrega, R.; P. Morita, P. Disruptive Technologies for Environment and Health Research: An Overview of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Internet of Things. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3847.

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