Development, Integration, and Deployment of Mobile Information Services in Healthcare: Usability and Security Challenges and Opportunities

Development, Integration, and Deployment of Mobile Information Services in Healthcare: Usability and Security Challenges and Opportunities

Jelena Mirkovic (Oslo University Hospital, Norway) and Haakon Bryhni (University of Oslo, Norway)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2190-9.ch012
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The use of mobile and wireless technologies has great potential to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery. The main goal of this chapter is to describe the current state of the art in the research field of development and integration of mobile services in the healthcare sector by addressing the two main challenges: usability and security. The authors investigate the main requirements and approaches for developing highly usable, user-friendly, and well-accepted mobile healthcare services. In addition, they identify various ways of addressing security and privacy issues in mobile healthcare services and discuss the advantages and shortcomings of each approach. Finally, the chapter presents the CONNECT (Care Online: Novel Networks to Enhance Communication and Treatment) project and describes how security and usability issues can be addressed during the development of mobile access to a multi-modal Internet-based patient support system.
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Numerous countries define their healthcare strategies and policies by stressing the importance of using new and emerging technologies. For example, in Norway, the government has defined a National eHealth strategy called “Interaction 2.0,” which focuses strongly on the development of network-based services for patients and the general public, patient access to summarized medical information, telemedicine, and the electronic exchange of information and knowledge (Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet, 2008). In addition, the number and popularity of mobile healthcare applications available on online application stores (e.g., iTunes Store, and OviStore) is growing. Kailas, Chia-Chin, & Watanabe (2010) and Dolan (2010) state that the number of standalone smartphone healthcare applications today is more than 7000 and this number is steadily increasing. This proves a recognized potential of mobile healthcare services and presence of technologies that can be used for their implementation and delivery. However, mobile devices are usually just standalone systems today and they are not integrated in HIS and accepted as a standard means for healthcare service delivery. Examples can be found in which some hospitals are beginning to accept mobile and wireless technology (e.g.,(Microsoft Case Studies, 2011b; Microsoft Case Studies, 2011a; University of Cambrige, & China Mobile, 2011)), but these are only isolated instances. Integrating mobile devices and services with HIS remains an open issue and a topic that requires further research.

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