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Table 1 Hardships encountered by elderly patients and their expected solutions.

From: Activity-Oriented Design of Health Pal: A Smart Phone for Elders' Healthcare Support



Adhoc solutions

Expected solutions

Memory degeneration

Miss medicine doses Forget appointment schedules Take blood pressure readings irregularly

Use means of reminders: notes, calendar, medicine boxes, and so on. Get help from friend and family members

Scheduling aids Activity reminders

Information shortage

Ignorant about personal ailment Lack of medicine, diet, or exercise information Unsure of appointment wait time

Acquire "knowledge" from television, newspapers, or word of mouths Attempt to contact doctors or nurses in hospitals Make adhoc decisions

Reliable on-line medical and lifestyle information Easy contact with healthcare professionals

Information management

Forget doctor's advice Lose medical records

Use handwritten notes on notepads or notebooks

Personal data assistant Personal information manager and search engine

Emergency care

Lack of on-time medical help Lack of personal medical history

Wear emergency and first-aid bracelets

Cell phone emergency call feature Cell phone medical history

Health condition monitor

Unavailability of instruments Incapable of using instruments

Ignore symptoms Try to ask for help (if possible) Call for emergency service (expensive)

Handheld/Cell phone health monitors