Types of Resources and their Discover in HealthGrids

Types of Resources and their Discover in HealthGrids

Aisha Naseer (Brunel University, UK) and Lampros Stergiolas (Brunel University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-374-6.ch002
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Abstract

Adoption of cutting edge technologies in order to facilitate various healthcare operations and tasks is significant. There is a need for health information systems to be fully integrated with each other and provide interoperability across various organizational domains for ubiquitous access and sharing. The emerging technology of HealthGrids holds the promise to successfully integrate health information systems and various healthcare entities onto a common, globally shared and easily accessible platform. This chapter presents a systematic taxonomy of different types of HealthGrid resources, where the specialized resources can be categorised into three major types; namely, Data or Information or Files (DIF); Applications & Peripherals (AP); and Services. Resource discovery in HealthGrids is an emerging challenge comprising many technical issues encapsulating performance, consistency, compatibility, heterogeneity, integrity, aggregation and security of life-critical data. To address these challenges, a systematic search strategy could be devised and adopted, as the discovered resource should be valid, refined and relevant to the query. Standards could be implemented on domain-specific metadata. This chapter proposes potential solutions for the discovery of different types of HealthGrid resources and reflects on discovering and integrating data resources.
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Context: Healthcare And Grid Technology

HealthGrid is a Grid infrastructure dedicated to the management of healthcare resources that encompasses and integrates the various Grid components and healthcare components with consistent, compatible and meaningful coordination among them, to facilitate provision of the healthcare services (Naseer and Stergioulas, 2006c)

Thus, HealthGrid is a type of Grid that is used in the context of healthcare. HealthGrids are expected to possess enhanced, customized capabilities and features, such as:

  • 1.

    Remote access services

  • 2.

    Common distributed databases for healthcare

  • 3.

    Information sharing

  • 4.

    Integration of heterogeneous information from disparate sources

  • 5.

    Common/standardized storage mechanisms

  • 6.

    Efficient computation & data retrieval

  • 7.

    Large-scale data processing

  • 8.

    Shared access to computing resources

  • 9.

    Social healthcare services

  • 10.

    Provision of secure access to:

    • a.

      Patient’s medical history

    • b.

      Medical Images (e.g. mammograms)

    • c.

      Standard formats of files & information for comparison

    • d.

      Library of examples for training & diagnosis

    • e.

      Health support services

    • f.

      Drug details & clinical trials

    • g.

      Health information systems

Key Terms in this Chapter

HealthGrid: A type of Grid. It is a Grid infrastructure dedicated to the management of healthcare resources that encompasses and integrates the various Grid components and healthcare components with consistent, compatible and meaningful coordination among them, to facilitate provision of the healthcare services.

Grid Resource: A Grid resource can be any real or conceptual object that is needed to be accessed by other entities, such as human users of the system or programmes that generate requests for accessing particular resources.

OGSA-DAI: Open Grid Service Architecture Data Integration and Access, it is a powerful technology that possesses strong features for providing interfaces to heterogeneous data sources on Grids in order to integrate them.

Resource Discovery: The operation of tracking, accessing, matching, selecting and eventually requesting the right or the most accurately suitable resource for the successful accomplishment of the desired job.

Heterogeneity: A difference in format, platform, semantics or ontology.

Taxonomy: A classification.

Integration or Interoperability: A link or connection that enables communication among two or more resource types.

Web Services: Considered as the most efficient and reliable communicators of messages from one place to another regardless of geographical or technological heterogeneity.

Grid Services: A type of Grid resource (service resource) with special capabilities and features to get tasks successfully accomplished on Grid networks. These are used to access other types of Grid resources.

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