CEC: Information Society Technologies Thematic Network (Working Group) "Information Society For All"

6th IS4ALL Seminar jointly with Eurorec' 2003

Invitation for Participation

The aim of the seminar and the workshop is to provide participants with guidance on how to appropriate the benefits of Universal Access in Health Telematics in order to design universally accessible Electronic Health Records.


An example of a patient's history on a desktop

An example of a patient's history on a desktop

The primary focus of the Thematic Network IS4ALL is on the impact of advanced desktop and mobile interaction technologies on emerging Health Telematics products and services, and in particular the electronic health record. EHRs are complex domain-specific artifacts that must be accessible by different types of users, including professionals in a variety of roles and contexts of use, as well as patients. Accordingly, EHRs are increasingly made available over different platforms, including conventional windowing toolkits, the WWW, and mobile devices such as palmtop and WAP phones. To gain insight into the potential contribution of universal access principles to the design and development of Electronic Health Records accessible by anyone, anywhere, the Thematic Network IS4ALL ( is experimenting with various usage scenarios, which unfold user- and use-adapted interaction. With reference to these scenarios, IS4ALL develops and validates design methods to facilitate a code of practice for universal access in health Telematics.


An example of a patient's history on a desktop

Examples of patient's history on a desktop and on iPAQ

An example of a patient's history on a desktop

Access to a patient's demographics using a WAP phone

The primary use of EHRs is to provide overviews and details of a patient’s medical condition, including specific examinations, results, treatments, etc. High quality access to such information can improve medical decision-making and quality of care, thus resulting in more satisfactory experiences for all parties concerned. It is therefore important that usability becomes a first-class objective for all systems or services built around EHRs. Advanced networking capabilities, the diffusion of the Internet and the proliferation of a variety of interaction platforms have created new opportunities in Health Telematics. Access to medical information can now benefit from the new infrastructure:

  • patients can review their own medical condition from remote sites (i.e., the home or the office);
  • tasks of professionals can be more adequately planned, initiated and executed from anywhere,
  • safety-critical and emergency situations can be more effectively accommodated, etc.

However, for these benefits to be appropriated, new requirements need to be addressed, including the institutional/organizational, infrastructure and technology. Additionally, users should become accustomed to new experiences, building on collaborative activities and networking between novel devices. In this context, universal access is relevant as a systematic approach to building EHRs systems which are adaptable to different user profiles and roles, scalable to various interaction platforms, and inter-operable across Health Telematics contexts of use.

The IS4ALL seminar will provide insights towards designing systems, which exhibit universal access characteristics.

Seminar and Workshop Agenda

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