The growing aging population faces a number of challenges, including rising medical cost, inadequate number of medical doctors and healthcare professionals, as well as higher incidence of misdiagnosis. There is an increasing demand for a better healthcare support for the elderly and one promising solution is the development of a context-aware middleware infrastructure for pervasive health/wellness-care. This allows the accurate and timely delivery of health/medical information among the patients, doctors and healthcare workers through a widespread deployment of wireless sensor networks and mobile devices. In this paper, we present our design and implementation of such a context-aware middleware for pervasive homecare (CAMPH). The middleware offers several key-enabling system services that consist of P2P-based context query processing, context reasoning for activity recognition and context-aware service management. It can be used to support the development and deployment of various homecare services for the elderly such as patient monitoring, location-based emergency response, anomalous daily activity detection, pervasive access to medical data and social networking. We have developed a prototype of the middleware and demonstrated the concept of providing a continuing-care to an elderly with the collaborative interactions spanning multiple physical spaces: person, home, office and clinic. The results of the prototype show that our middleware approach achieves good efficiency of context query processing and good accuracy of activity recognition.
Ieee Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, 2009, Vol 27, Issue 4, p. 510-524