VirtualECare: Group Support in Collaborative Networks Organizations for Digital Homecare

  • Ricardo Costa
  • Paulo Novais
  • Luís Lima
  • José Bulas Cruz
  • José Neves
Part of the Series in Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMENG)

Abstract

Collaborative Work plays an important role in today’s organizations, especially in areas where decisions must be made. However, any decision that involves a collective or group of decision makers is, by itself complex, but is becoming recurrent in recent years. In this work we present the VirtualECare project, an intelligent multi-agent system able to monitor, interact and serve its customers, which are, normally, in need of care services. In last year’s there has been a substantially increase on the number of people needed of intensive care, especially among the elderly, a phenomenon that is related to population ageing. However, this is becoming not exclusive of the elderly, as diseases like obesity, diabetes and blood pressure have been increasing among young adults. This is a new reality that needs to be dealt by the health sector, particularly by the public one. Given this scenarios, the importance of finding new and cost effective ways for health care delivery are of particular importance, especially when we believe they should not to be removed from their natural “habitat”. Following this line of thinking, the VirtualECare project will be presented, like similar ones that preceded it. Recently we have also assisted to a growing interest in combining the advances in information society - computing, telecommunications and presentation – in order to create Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS). Indeed, the new economy, along with increased competition in today’s complex business environments, takes the companies to seek complementarities in order to increase competitiveness and reduce risks. Under these scenarios, planning takes a major role in a company life. However, effective planning depends on the generation and analysis of ideas (innovative or not) and, as a result, the idea generation and management processes are crucial. Our objective is to apply the above presented GDSS to a new area. We believe that the use of GDSS in the healthcare arena will allow professionals to achieve better results in the analysis of one’s Electronically Clinical Profile (ECP). This achievement is vital, regarding the explosion of knowledge and skills, together with the need to use limited resources and get better results.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Costa
    • 1
  • Paulo Novais
    • 2
  • Luís Lima
    • 1
  • José Bulas Cruz
    • 3
  • José Neves
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Management and TechnologyPolytechnic of PortoFelgueirasPortugal
  2. 2.DI-CCTCUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal
  3. 3.University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila RealPortugal

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