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Exploring context-awareness for ubiquitous computing in the healthcare domain

Springer U K
Publication Date
  • Computer Science
  • Design


ORIGINAL ARTICLE Exploring context-awareness for ubiquitous computing in the healthcare domain Jesper Kjeldskov Æ Mikael B. Skov Received: 31 January 2006 / Accepted: 23 May 2006 / Published online: 7 November 2006 � Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006 Abstract Ubiquitous technologies have potentials to play major roles in different real world organizational settings. One of the areas where applying ubiquitous technologies has been given a lot of attention is in the healthcare domain. Here, users are frequently on the move while at the same time relying increasingly on centralized computerized information. In this paper, we explore ubiquitous technologies in the real world through two studies in the healthcare domain. First, we look at the use and usability of a ubiquitous electronic patient record (EPR) system distributed on desktop and laptop computers throughout a large hospital. Secondly, we present an extension to this ubiquitous computing environment in the form of a context-aware mobile computer terminal prototype. The usability of the mobile EPR prototype was evaluated in both laboratory and field settings. Our results indicate that the usefulness of a ubiquitous computing environment supporting work activities in healthcare can benefit from context-aware mobile information access. However, interaction design for such systems must be carefully thought out and thoroughly evaluated. Also, while the use of mobile and stationary computers complement each other very well, we found that the usefulness of ubiquitous computing environments in healthcare may benefit from additional elements such as situated displays at key locations and on key objects, and from seamless integration between the different devices comprising the system as a whole. 1 Introduction Over the past years, emerging computer technologies have drawn enormous attention as they often yield new and innovative use in work as well as in leisure. We are c

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