The shortage of medical staffs has become a critical issue due to the rapid growth of aging population. Numerous attempts have been made on devising pervasive healthcare systems to precisely and continuously monitor patients’ health status. However, the transformation from prototypes in the laboratory to practical systems in a medical institution is still a challenging task. This paper reports our progress and lessons learned from designing and deploying a pervasive healthcare system that runs persistently for more than six months in a real-world smart ward of National Taiwan University Hospital, one of the most heavy-loaded hospitals with high occupancy rate in Taiwan. We describe techniques proposed to deal with three essential challenges: design for essential needs, design for user acceptance, and design for maintenance. The system is evaluated empirically by deploying two applications in the field. Based on the results of field interview and questionnaires, we believe that this work is a milestone of a persistently running pervasive healthcare system deployed in a hospital.
IEEE Systems Journal, Vol.to appear, No.to appear, pp.to appear