A context aware and location sensitive distributed system for The Perfect Hospital


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Lucy is in the hospital recovering from viral fever. Dr Steve on reading her pulse realizes that it would require another read of pulses after three hours before he could recommend Aspirin or the Acetaminophen medicine. On his Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), he leaves a message for the 'next doctor on duty' to 'take a pulse reading' for 'Lucy' at '1800 hrs' that 'if the pulse rate is close to 80, order the Acetaminophen medicine to the pharmacy or else order the Aspirin medicine'.

Dr Martin on round to Lucy's ward at around 1830 hrs gets this message on his PDA and accordingly takes a reading of Lucy's pulse rate. He realizes that Lucy's pulse rate is 82, and as per Dr Steve's message orders on the PDA, the Acetaminophen medicine to be administered to Lucy.

The order is received by the pharmacy on their desktop computer and the nurse on her PDA. On receiving the order, the pharmacy readies the order and updates Lucy's account with the same. The nurse receives a message on her PDA about the order being ready for delivery, who then collects the same and administers the medicine to Lucy. The nurse also updates Lucy's medical history records on her PDA with this information.

This was a glimpse of what this project is aimed at. We plan to develop a context aware and location sensitive system for information management within a hospital environment. As quoted in the 'Computer' IEEE journal in the article titled 'Context-Aware Mobile Communication in Hospitals', context-aware computing is an applications ability to adapt to the changing circumstances and respond according to the context of use. Mobile users constantly change their context, notably their location, but in a hospital, the context is far more than location. It is also the timing of the exchange; the location of a worker, device, or artifact; and the person's role, not just his identity.

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Last updated: 02/07/04.