gms | German Medical Science

GMDS 2012: 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e. V. (GMDS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie

16. - 20.09.2012, Braunschweig

Architectural Requirements for mobile health apps

Meeting Abstract

  • Patrick Mangesius - ITH icoserve technology for healthcare, a Siemens Company, Innsbruck, Österreich
  • Stefan Oberbichler - UMIT – Universität für Gesundheitswissenschaften, Medzinische Informatik und Technik, Hall in Tirol, Deutschland
  • Thomas Schabetsberger - ITH icoserve technology for healthcare, a Siemens Company, Innsbruck, Österreich

GMDS 2012. 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e.V. (GMDS). Braunschweig, 16.-20.09.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. Doc12gmds075

doi: 10.3205/12gmds075, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gmds0759

Veröffentlicht: 13. September 2012

© 2012 Mangesius et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Introduction: e-Health is commonly referred as a key enabler for more efficient, cooperative healthcare [1]. Providing full patient records and information to medical practitioner anywhere and instantly influences and highly improves the quality of patient care. This can be achieved by the introduction of a generic e-Health infrastructure for electronic health records (EHR) [2], of which the requirements and quality aspects [3] have already been examined in various approaches [1], [4]. This paper focuses on requirements and aspects that are important for bringing data from an e-Health infrastructure to mobile devices, which are expected to integrate well with bed-side medical or clinical processes [5].

Methods: Using Evolutionary Prototyping [6] a software prototype was developed, which allows mobile access to an already market introduced Integrating-the-Healthcare-Enterprise (IHE) Cross-Enterprise-Document-Sharing (XDS) based EHR [7]. Using an extensible data model and a server, which acts as a Gateway between the mobile device and the connected systems, the architecture is capable of connecting several data sources and transmitting the gathered data in a merge and unified way to the client device. This preprocessing of data allows even weaker devices to display complex data structures.

The architecture and the solution approach were presented to technical and network experts. Formative evaluation was undertaken by gathering feedback that was given by several persons who bring knowledge and years of expertise in the field of connecting medical systems (expert interviews). Using the experience from implementing the prototype and the feedback from the group of experts, requirements for a mobile architecture were derived.

Results: The resulting requirements can roughly be grouped into three areas of concern: Security (Protection of sensible patient health information on all communication and device layers, Logging and audit trailing), transport and flexibility (Extensibility and capability of connecting multiple already existing health networks, Handling of connection loss, implementation independent protocol , backward compatible versioning of communication interfaces), portability and devices support (Information preprocessing and preparation, unified data presentation, common point of entrance to all functionalities provided by the system). The fulfillment of these requirements is crucial for a mobile device enabling patient data communicating system.

Discussion: Analyzing the experiences gained from the implementation and the feedback of the group of experts a major amount of requirements could be retrieved. However this approach illuminated only the technical aspects and requirements of mobile devices for medical data retrieval and visualization. Future work is needed to gather requirements from the dedicated end user group. To identify this group of end users the scope of the architecture needs to be defined. Currently the aim of the architecture is not to restrict the area of usage. However to collect requirements from end users, the use cases must be defined and the group of users targeted by those use cases must be interviewed. This user groups could be medical experts (e.g. retrieving or submitting diagnostics), patients (e.g. accessing the personal health record, collection of data, measures) or administrative staff (e.g. manipulating access rights, system configuration). This would also allow the derivation of usability requirements.


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