In this chapter we describe a distributed e-healthcare system that uses service oriented architecture as a basis for designing, implementing, deploying, invoking and managing healthcare services. The ehealthcare system that we have developed provides support for patients, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, as well as for medical monitoring devices, such as blood pressure monitors. The system transmits e-prescriptions from physicians to pharmacists over the Internet. It offers multimedia input and output, including text, images and speech, to provide a human-friendly interface, with the computers and networks hidden from the user.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Atom/RSS: Two different, but related, families of feed formats that are used to publish frequently updated digital content on the Web. Both feed formats are based on the eXtensible Markup Language (XML).
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA): A software architecture that uses loosely coupled services to support the requirements of business processes and users. Resources on the Internet are made available as services that can be accessed without knowledge of their underlying platform implementation.
Electronic Medical Record (EMR): A medical record in digital format.
E-Healthcare System: A healthcare system based on the application of information and communication technologies that provides a wide range of healthcare services to its users including physicians, nurses, pharmacists and patients. Typically, these services are provided over the Internet.
Speech Recognition: The process of interpreting human speech for transcription, or as a method of interacting with a computer or device, using a source of speech input, such as a microphone.
Web Server: A computer or computer program that accepts hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) requests from clients (Web browsers), and that serves them HTTP responses along with optional data content, typically Web pages such as HyperText Markup Language (HTML) documents and linked objects, such as images.
Speech Synthesis: The artificial production of human speech. Speech synthesis technology is also called text-to-speech technology because of its ability to convert text into speech.
Web Service: A software service that executes typically on a remote computer and that can be accessed by clients over the Internet. A Web service is based on standards such as the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and, thus, provides interoperable interactions over the network.
E-Prescription: Electronic transfer of a medical prescription in digital format from an physician to a pharmacist, in contrast to the current paper-based method.