Illustration: usability testing using a mobile phone

Usability, Security, and Mobility for Mobile Devices in Healthcare Information Systems

for Mobile Devices in Healthcare Information Systems


Recent advances in telecommunication and networking have a potential to influence healthcare management and healthcare delivery processes in a manner that was not possible several years ago. Numerous wireless and mobile networks, emerging mobile devices, platforms, and operating systems available today are starting to be used to collect, transfer, and analyze patient medical data in a transparent and controlled manner independent of time and place.

This dissertation investigates problems and issues related to successful development, adoption, and integration of mobile services in healthcare information systems for patients. In the context of the development of mobile application that enables access to the CONNECT (Care Online: Novel Networks to Enhance Communication and Treatment) system, the following research questions are addressed:

  • What are the main functionality and user interface requirements for developing userfriendly, adaptable and well-accepted applications that enable the patient’s mobile access to a patient support system such as the CONNECT system? (Paper II)
  • What are the security requirements for enabling secure mobile access to a patient support system such as the CONNECT system, and how can they be properly met without compromising usability of the system? (Paper III)
  • What is the best approach for enabling seamless and context aware access to patient support system such as the CONNECT system over different types of terminals and access network on secure and user friendly manner? (Paper IV)

The main challenge of the presented work has been to encompass the complex and interdisciplinary field of utilization of mobile technology in a healthcare information for patients such as the CONNECT system. The presented work makes contributions in the areas of: development and integration of user-friendly and useful mobile services in healthcare information systems for patients, development of secure and user-friendly solutions for enabling access to patients’ private health-related information, and development context adapted patient support systems that provide secure and user-friendly access to patient data over various types of terminals and access networks. During the research work conducted as part of the dissertation, different system stakeholders were involved and user’s design and functionality requirements from mobile healthcare services for patients were identified, the current technical and legislation environment in healthcare information systems in Norway were researched, and different options and technologies for integrating various types of (mobile) access platforms to healthcare information services were studied. Even thought the contributions presented in the dissertation are gained through work on the CONNECT project and are closely related to development of the CONNECT Mobile application, the results can be applied to a wide range of healthcare information systems with similar design and functionality requirements that handle sensitive and private data and require high level of user-friendliness and usefulness.


  • Paper I: Mirkovic, J., H. Bryhni and C. Ruland (2009) Review of projects using mobile devices and mobile applications in healthcare. In Scandinavian conference on Health Informatics, pp. 49-54, Arendal, Norway.
  • Paper II: Mirkovic, J., H. Bryhni and C. Ruland (2011) Designing User Friendly Mobile Application to Assist Cancer Patients in Illness Management. In The Third International Conference on eHealth, Telemedicine, and Social Medicine (eTELEMED 2011), pp. 64-71, 2011, Gosier, Guadeloupe, France.
  • Paper III: Mirkovic, J., H. Bryhni and C. Ruland (2011) Secure Solution for Mobile Access to Patient’s Health Care Record. In 2011 IEEE 13th International Conference on e- Health Networking, Applications and Services (Healthcom 2011), pp. 296-303, 2011, Columbia, Missouri, USA. doi:10.1109/HEALTH.2011.6026769
  • Paper IV: Mirkovic, J., H. Bryhni and C. Ruland (2012) A framework for the development of ubiquitous patient support systems. In 6th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, 2012, San Diego, California, USA. doi:10.4108/icst.pervasivehealth.2012.248594