Usability of Mobile Computing Technologies to Assist Cancer Patients
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HCI and Usability for Medicine and Health Care
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Medical researchers are constantly looking for new methods for early detection and treatment of incurable diseases. Cancer can severely hinder the lives of patients if they are not constantly attended to. Cancer patients can be assisted with the aid of constant monitoring by a support group and a continual sense of self-awareness through monitoring, which can be enabled through pervasive technologies. As human life expectancy rises, incidents of cancer also increase, which most often affects the elderly. Cancer patients need continuous follow-up because of the state of their disease and the intensity of treatment. Patients have often restricted mobility, thus it is helpful to provide them access to their health status without the need to travel. There has been much effort towards wireless and internet based health care services, but they are not widely accepted due to the lack of reliability and usability. In this paper, we present a software called Wellness Monitor (WM). The purpose of WM is to utilize the portability and ubiquity of small handheld devices such as PDAs, cell phones, and wrist watches to ensure secured data availability, customized representation, and privacy of the data collected through small wearable sensors. WM explores how the social and psychological contexts that encompass the patients could be enhanced by utilizing the same technology, an aspect which is mostly unexplored. A further goal was to provide continuous psychological assistance.