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Supporting information access in a hospital ward by a context-aware mobile electronic patient record
Skov B., Høegh T. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing10 (4):205-214,2006.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: Apr 3 2008

Context-aware mobile systems with the ability to automatically discover and react to changes in the environment are becoming more important in the labor systems of the future. This paper describes the experience with mobile electronic patient records realized in a context-aware mobile prototype called MobileWard. The aim of MobileWard is to support nurses in conducting morning procedures in a hospital ward.

The authors assess MobileWard through a number of field-based and lab-based evaluations. After a brief general introduction to the potential of context awareness in mobile devices in the first section, the authors focus on computer-supported collaborative work in the health care area, based on electronic patient records on one hand and on context-aware mobile systems in general on the other. This general introduction is very well done and very informative.

Section 3 describes the mobile work at a hospital ward in detail, using as an example the gynecology and obstetric ward at Frederikshaven Hospital. As customary for usability studies, the description is scenario based.

In the following section 4, the authors describe MobileWard. Both the use of context-awareness and the architecture and interface design of the prototype are explained in detail.

Section 5 describes the experimental design for the usability evaluation of MobileWard. Though it seems to be complete, it is not very informative for the reader who expects to find more information on the general concepts of the experimental design and its realization in the specific context, including a discussion of the impact. The presentation of the results of the evaluation in section 6 is not done in a very systematic way and no relations to design decisions or working conditions are thoroughly discussed.

Section 7, the last of the paper, is mostly a general discussion of aspects of this area that can be found in the literature. Presenting and discussing the results of the investigation in detail, including a comparison with results of similar studies, would have been far more useful. Unfortunately, this weakens an otherwise well-written and interesting paper.

Reviewer:  G. Haring Review #: CR135445 (0903-0282)
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