OntoHealth: An Ontology Applied to Pervasive Hospital Environments

OntoHealth: An Ontology Applied to Pervasive Hospital Environments

Giovani Librelotto, Iara Augustin, Jonas Gassen, Guilherme Kurtz, Leandro Freitas, Ricardo Martini, Renato Azevedo
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-042-6.ch065
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In the last years ontologies are being used in the development of pervasive computing applications. It is habitual their use for facilitating the interoperability among context-aware applications and the entities that may enter in the context at any time. This chapter presents OntoHealth: an ontology applied to health pervasive environment and a tool to its processing. The main idea is that a hospital could be seen as this pervasive environment, where someone, through ubiquitous computing, engages a range of computational devices and systems simultaneously, in the course of ordinary activities, and may not necessarily even be aware that they are doing so. With the proposed ontology and the tool for its processing, the medical tasks can be shared by all components of this pervasive environment.
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Pervasive Computing

Pervasive computing is a computing paradigm incorporated in a variety of devices (clothes, computers, cell phone, cars etc), which can carry out computing in a relatively non-intrusive manner and can impact and support many aspects of work and daily activities (Robinson, Wakeman, & Chalmers, 2008). It is the trend towards increasingly ubiquitous and connected computing devices in the environment which is being brought about by a convergence of advanced electronic – and particularly wireless – technologies and the Internet (Henricksen, Indulska, & Rakotonirainy, 2002).

Pervasive computing requires that computing tasks are aware of the surrounding environment and of the users’ needs, and also capable of adapt to these. A fundamental concept of pervasive computing is context awareness (Abowd, 1999). Context is any relevant information that can be used to characterize a situation of an entity. It includes background information, specification of user and application requirements as well as any relevant quantifiable entities in the environment.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Pervasive Hospital: The hospital became pervasive at the moment its computational devices start to interact with their users so naturally, that such devices would not be perceived anymore

Hospital: It is a place where sick or injured people receive medical care.

Domain-Oriented Ontologies: They are used in analyses that need to capture concepts and relations specific to a particular type of domain.

Generic Ontologies: They are used to represent concepts and relations that are valid for any type of environment, e.g., person, place, location, space, time, etc.

Reasoning: It is the cognitive process of looking for reasons for beliefs, conclusions, actions or feelings.

Context-Awareness: Is the ability of the system or device wich allows it to adapt to the context in which is inserted.

Pervasive Computing: It aims to integrate the physical world with the virtual world and to change the current focus of the computing (process based) to the users' daily activities, creating an invisible computing to non-specialist eyes.

Ontology: It is a formal representation of a set of concepts within a domain and the relationships between those concepts. It is used to reason about the properties of that domain, and may be used to define the domain.

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