Health Care Interface Design

Topics: Personal digital assistant, User interface, Mobile device Pages: 11 (3501 words) Published: April 7, 2012
Interface Design for Healthcare
Abstract. This paper is mainly discussing about the user interface design problems faced by the healthcare professionals in the healthcare industry with the applications in their handheld devices that assist them in dealing with daily routine work. The authors attempt to identify and address the key problems from the previous researches. To tackle these issues, a mobile user interface (UI) framework is reviewed as the basis for discussion and suggestion for improving future interface design for healthcare. The discussion also includes case study on the interface design of an existing medical applications available on iPhone as the example of evaluation. 1 Introduction

In the dynamic healthcare industry, healthcare professionals are expected to be highly mobile, ready and on-the-go. Accessing instant medical information at work is required almost all the time. Instead of carrying bulky laptops around the workplace, most healthcare professionals are carrying with them handheld devices of either the Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or smart phone nowadays. The applications commonly used by the healthcare professionals are those that enable them to have access to patients’ information, drugs information and administrative functions (Honeybourne et al, 2006). In order to keep them competent at workplace, usability of the mobile application is of vital important in ensuring that information can be retrieved by the healthcare professionals instantly at all conditions. In view of this, the objective of this paper is to understand the difficulties faced by this group of people with their mobile application and to provide insightful solutions to these problems in the context of user interface design. 2 Healthcare Interface Design

Healthcare interface design is one of the important aspects many researchers are focusing on over the past decades. It is increasingly supported by multiple technologies including human computer interaction and media interactive design to improve the efficiency and quality. Generally, IT has the potential to provide healthcare professionals with faster access to patient information mainly by electronic healthcare records (EHCR) and medical knowledge resources (Volsko, 2004). These functions are normally associated with the use of stationary computers but also available on mobile technology such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), which can be used in a more flexible way than the stationary computers. A PDA is a small handheld computer popular for calendar and note functions (Lundby, 2002) but nowadays, PDAs are also employed in various medical applications, as well as in business and education environments (Volsko, 2004). A PDA allows large volumes of updated information to be stored in the pocket. It is the substitution or complement to laptops because it works as efficiently as a wireless mobile device that implies reading and computing data including images in a hospital environment. With connection to a computer it allows regular backups, data transfer and software downloads (Huffstutler, Wyatt & Wright, 2002). Different healthcare professionals have used the PDA to a various extent for different tasks, such as accessing patient records, writing prescriptions, billing, performing medical computations, e-mail, accessing the internet and medical textbooks (Miller, Beattie & Butt, 2003). 3 Problem Statements

Although the latest PDAs and handheld mobile devices have increasing capabilities in getting information, there are still several issues affecting the user’s ability to access and use the information. Based on the studies by other researchers, the key issues are identified and addressed as follows: 3.1 Only Part of Screen is used to Show Information.

Several studies done by researchers, who involved in healthcare PDA interface design, found that most of the healthcare professionals are not happy with the interface when it comes to display of...
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