Ubiquitous information access for everybody – What do we really need?
S. Koch1 and B.-E. Erlandson1,2
1 Department of Medical Sciences, Medical informatics and engineering, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
2 University Hospital, Medical informatics and engineering, Uppsala, Sweden
Health care today meets growing patient demands on quality and accessibility of care on one hand and growing shortage of staff resources and increasing costs on the other hand. In addition, constantly increasing human mobility leads to a more patient centred health care with increasing amount and spread of information. This requires more flexible access to different kinds of medical information for both health care providers, care takers and relatives.
These requirements make it a challenge for medical and health informatics to cope with in the future and to provide different health care providers as well as care takers and relatives with ubiquitous access to information needed in an intuitive way.
Our research work follows a work-scenario oriented systems development approach based on extensive work analyses in interdisciplinary working groups. Medical and health care specialists together with researchers in human-computer interaction, medical informatics and biomedical engineering specify future clinical work scenarios. Research is focused especially on analysis and design of the information and communication flow and on the exploration of intuitive visualisation and interaction techniques for medical information. Adequate choice of the technical access device is made depending on the user’s work situation.
We will present selected examples of our work based on the work-scenario oriented approach described above covering IT support for elderly citizens, patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and for patients with psychiatric problems. Different scenarios will be presented both from the care taker’s and the care provider’s perspective.
The purpose of our research work is to allow for quality controlled health care by providing “intuitive” access to the clinical information needed. We state that interdisciplinary, work-scenario oriented systems development with strong user involvement enhances the implementation of health information systems that are really used. Detailed design and analysis of the information and communication flow in different work situations in combination with intuitive visualisation and interaction techniques leads to the development of systems that both support clinical work processes for care providers and personalized information access for care takers. The vision - to provide the right information at the right time and place, in the right way to the right person - gets even more impact by further decentralization of supportive care utilising modern information technologies. Highly specialised centres with the latest modern technique and global accessibility will be present in the future. Less specialised units and/or care takers will have access to advanced opinions and can easily access second opinion when needed. It is therefore of outmost importance that the amount of information is reduced and structured in the right way in order to be personalized and adapted to the actual user needs.