Pervasive Healthcare: Problems and Potentials

Pervasive Healthcare: Problems and Potentials

Niels Boye (University of Aalborg, Denmark)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-792-8.ch005
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Pervasive healthcare is a vision for the future of healthcare. Healthcare provisions can be delivered with high quality at low cost along with higher patient-experienced quality and satisfaction as a service on top of a pervasive computing infrastructure, which can be built by integrating communicating computerpower into industrial products and fixed structures in urban and rural spaces. For pervasive healthcare, integration with on body networks sensors and actuators may also be needed. This chapter discusses the prerequisites of this vision from a point of a healthcare professional. A number of parallel advances in concepts have to take place before pervasive healthcare (PH) is matured into a general method for delivering healthcare provisions. The contemporary, most widespread model of healthcare provisions as industrial products with consumer-goods characteristics has to mature into the concepts of welfare economics. New market models have to be developed for PH to pervade society and add value to the health aspects of an individual’s life. Ethical and legal aspects must also be further matured. Maturation of technology is needed. This includes all the components of the “pervasive loop” from sensors to the central intelligence back to the actuators. The “virtual patient/healthy human” as an operational digital representation of the “object/subject of care” also has to be developed. Pervasive healthcare (or the European Union term: ambient assisted living) is a promising field, that has potential to integrate health considerations and health promoting activities for patients and non-patients in their everyday conduct and provide added value to life quality for individuals.

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