A New Paradigm for the Development of Future Medical Software Systems

Gerrit Meixner, Detlef Zühlke

In: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium. ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium (SIGHIT-2012) January 28-30 Miami FL United States ACM 2012.


In many areas of human life, computer-based Information Technology (IT) has prevailed and become essential for the coordinated and efficient organization of workflows. Especially in the field of health care, interaction between human beings and IT is a sensitive subject. Inevitably, people working in the field of health care will have to make use of the potentials of IT in order to meet the enormous demands on e.g. patient management. When we look at the situation of current medical software systems, we can find major advances in the performance capacities of modern software systems, but must also note their rapid penetration into almost every facet of the daily hospital routine. Today medical software systems can be characterized as a vast number of (networked) software which each fulfills specific functions (e.g., hospital information system, Picture Archiving and Communication System) and which is used by different user groups (e.g., physicians, nurses, medical secretaries) with diverse user tasks. Yet, for almost two decades, graphical user interfaces have dominated the interaction of medical software systems in most cases. In the future, a broader range of paradigms will emerge, allowing for multi-modal interaction. But also the growing number of heterogeneous platforms (operating systems, graphical libraries) and devices utilized complementarily (e.g., PC, Toughbook, Smartphone, PDA) demand for the development of congeneric user interfaces for a plethora of target platforms. Especially “mobile healthcare computing devices (MHCDs) are rapidly becoming an integral part of hospital information systems. Deployment of these devices is becoming an important IT strategy designed to assist in improving quality of care, enhancing patient services, increasing productivity, lowering costs, improving cash flow, as well as facilitating other critical delivery processes”. For MHCDs aspects like getting the right information at the right time in the right place (context sensitivity) is important. To be able to cope with requirements like interoperability, context-sensitivity and device-independent usage a model-based approach for the development of user interfaces (MBUID) appears to be favourable.

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence