A Roadmap to the Introduction of Pervasive Information Systems in Healthcare

A Roadmap to the Introduction of Pervasive Information Systems in Healthcare

Fotis Kitsios (University of Macedonia, Greece), Thanos Papadopoulos (University of Southampton, UK) and Spyros Angelopoulos (The University of Warwick, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-805-0.ch001
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Pervasive healthcare is an emerging research discipline, which focuses on the development of pervasive and ubiquitous computing technology for healthcare environments. Information and Communication Technologies have dramatically evolved during the last decade, laying a solid foundation for the future generation of Ubiquitous Internet access. As a result, current efforts in research and development in the areas of pervasive healthcare, promote the formation of inter-disciplinary international teams of experts, scientists, researchers and engineers to create a new generation of applications and technologies that will facilitate the fully automated information cyberspace systems. The authors discuss the current state-of-the-art in the world of Telecommunications and Internet Technologies as well as new technological trends in the Internet and Automation Industries, while promoting research and development in the interdisciplinary projects conducted by multinational teams worldwide.
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Pervasive Computing

Omnipresence is the ability to be everywhere at a certain point in time. Ubiquity postulates the omnipresence of networking; an unbounded and universal network (Angelopoulos et al., 2008). The widely used definition of ubiquitous computing is the method of enhancing computer use by making many computers available throughout the physical environment, but making them effectively invisible to the user (Wang et al, 2007). Pervasive computing integrates computation into the environment, rather than having computers, which are distinct objects. Ubiquitous activities are not so task-centric while the majority of usability techniques are. It is not at all clear how to apply task-centric techniques to informal everyday computing situations (Abowd & Mynat 2000).

There is no clear definition of pervasive computing in the current literature (Orwat et al., 2008). Pervasive computing is considered roughly as the opposite of virtual reality. Where virtual reality puts people inside a computer-generated world, pervasive computing forces the computer to live out there in the world with people. Visualisation and interaction of pervasive services can be implemented using context-aware augmented reality (Van de Kar, 2005). Thus, pervasive computing is considered a very difficult integration of human factors, computer science, engineering, and social sciences (Weiser, 1991). On the other hand, augmented reality (AR), another type of virtual reality, is considered as an excellent user interface for pervasive computing applications, because it allows intuitive information browsing of location-referenced information (Lee et al., 2006; Schmalstieg and Reitmayr, 2005). Moreover, pervasive computing is also different from traditional general purpose computers. This is because IT is not in the foreground, triggered and manipulated by humans; instead, IS resides in the background, monitoring the activities of humans and processing this information to other sources (Kourouthanassis et al., 2008).

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