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Health Care Use Case Scenario PDF Print E-mail

The Use Case Story

Valtteri, a tourist from Finland, is visiting Portugal during his summer vacation. Unfortunately, after one week in Lisbon he is seriously suffering from some disease unknown to him. This is the first time that something like this happens to Valtteri and he does not know what to do. Luckily, he has his personal communicator device with him. His personal CASCOM agent situated at his personal communicator quickly finds out the contact information of a local emergency centre. Using his personal communicator, Valtteri calls the local emergency centre at Portugal and gives the noticeable symptoms of his sickness to the local representative. At the same time, Valtteri's personal CASCOM agent transfers general information (i.e., non-sensitive information) about Valtteri as well as his location to the database of the local emergency centre. Valtteri's location is found out by using the mobile network cell identifier (cell-id), because Valtteri does not have his Galileo receiver with him. Should a Galileo receiver being available more accurate location information could be provided. However, in this scenario, approximate location information is enough. The local representative at the Portuguese emergency centre notices that Valtteri's symptoms are very serious and orders him to go to the nearest hospital immediately. The emergency centre agent transfers hospital contact information as well as a map showing Valtteri's current location and the hospital location to Valtteri's personal communicator. The local emergency centre agent informs the hospital agent that Valtteri is coming, and within a few minutes after the call, Valtteri checks-in to the hospital.

Immediately after Valtteri's call, his personal agent contacts the Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA) CASCOM agent at Finland about Valtteri's situation and requests to send Valtteri's medical history to the Portuguese hospital. Because of the Finnish regulations, such sensitive information cannot be sent to anywhere without permission of the patient. Therefore, EMA's CASCOM agent contacts Valtteri's personal CASCOM agent about the situation. Valtteri's personal agent asks Valtteri whether giving the permission is adequate. Valtteri gives the permission for parts of this information (he allows the Portuguese hospital to see information on a previous coronary heart disease and on a viral infection, but does not allow them to have access to a former psychiatric treatment) and his personal agent sends the permission to EMA's agent with Valtteri's electronic signature. EMA's agent forwards this information to the hospital at Finland that has Valtteri's medical history. An agent at that hospital sends necessary information to the Portuguese hospital. Since Valtteri has spent several years in Germany during his studies, parts of his health record are not available to EMA since this is stored in the information systems of the settled physician and the hospital he has visited at that time. Valtteri's personal agent knows about all agents that have to be contacted and sends requests to the agent of the German hospital and to the one of the settled physician. Given the appropriate permission by Valtteri, they both will forward the requested information to the Portuguese hospital's CASCOM agent.

The EMA agent retrieves data about Valtteri's situation from the Portuguese hospital and makes a first level analysis of Valtteri's situation. Based on this information, EMA makes an assessment of the situation. Further, EMA's agent contacts Valtteri's insurance company making sure that Valtteri's insurance will cover all possible costs that the situation may cause. The insurance company's CASCOM agent confirms that Valtteri's insurance will cover all possible costs. Based on information given by the Portuguese hospital, EMA makes a decision that a local representative from Finland should fly to Portugal to take care of Valtteri's situation. EMA's agent makes automatically all travel arrangements and downloads all necessary information about the travel arrangements as well as information about Valtteri to the EMA representative's personal communicator.

At Portugal, EMA's Finnish representative negotiates with several hospitals to find the best place for Valtteri to await further actions. EMA's Finnish representative also contacts EMA's Portuguese representatives to negotiate whether Valtteri should be transferred back to Finland or treated locally at Portugal. They make a decision that Valtteri should be transferred back to Finland as soon as possible. The personal agent situated at EMA's representative's personal communicator automatically finds out possible flight arrangements (e.g., whether Valtteri should be transferred using regular flight or whether a charter plane should be arranged) as well as informs all people that are involved during the travel (e.g., possible doctors and escorts). The agent also makes all the arrangements with a Finnish hospital. Back in Finland, Valtteri is treated at a hospital in Helsinki. After two weeks he is released from the hospital and can continue his summer vacation at Savitaipale in the Central Finland with his family.

The Challenges

Mobile communication is essential to this scenario: Valtteri, a mobile user getting sick in a foreign country may get in touch with various relevant people and services for help either personally or by using his personal CASCOM agent residing on his personal mobile communicator. For mobile workers such as EMA's Finnish representative in the above scenario, the CASCOM architecture enables ad hoc and timely communication and access to relevant information in any place, any time. Further, agents play an essential role in helping mobile workers performing their business tasks by finding and composing relevant (semantic Web) services on demand. Mobile workers gain more time for tasks that only humans can do.

The need for security and privacy functionality is clearly apparent in this scenario—from both mobile users and mobile workers perspectives. Without trustworthy security and privacy functionality, this scenario in the real life would not be possible. These issues are taken into account at different degrees on every level of the CASCOM architecture. 

Local and global decisions will have to be agreed upon between network providers and service providers to deliver immediate services to mobile users and workers. Further, this scenario is only possible if several network and service providers from several countries across Europe are co-operating. The CASCOM architecture provides agent-based coordination means to achieve that. These coordination means will be developed generic, such that they can be used in other business areas as well, which will further increase possible exploitation of CASCOM results.


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