Experiences with Extreme Programming in Telehealth: Developing and Implementing a Biosecurity Health Care Application

Author(s): Fruhling, A., Tyser, K., de Vreede, G.-J
Venue: System Sciences, 2005. HICSS '05. Proceedings of the 38th Annual Hawaii International Conference
Date: 03-06 Jan. 2005

Type of Experiement: Case Study
Sample Size: 2


Experiences with Extreme Programming in Telehealth: Developing and Implementing a Biosecurity Health Care Application describes the effects of adopting extreme programming in a biosecurity company called Telehealth for a project called STATPack. Healthcare is the largest information business in the US economy yet, as an information industry, it is currently too complex and inefficient, lagging behind other industries in adopting information technology. Especially when terrorist organizations how have resources to create harmful and fatal biological agents for warfare, Health laboratories throughout the US need to be prepared to encounter all sorts of unpredicted scenarios. Not only did the system need to be accurate and secure, it also had to work in a distributed environment.

This paper begins with a literature review of the waterfall model, the spiral model, and then the extreme programming model. Then, research from this case study is described and presented, and then analyzed. The paper cites early on that extreme programming can be “difficult to scale up to large projects because of a lack of sufficient architecture planning and over-focusing on early results,” and gives evidence to support this claim. Data gathered came from direct observation by researchers, interviews with customers and developers, usability evaluations, system documentation, and analysis of the project timeline.

Overall, the study concludes that extreme programming is an effective methodology to develop health care applications. The rapid prototyping enabled IT developers and health care users to clarify system requirements, communicate openly, and quickly build rapport. Further, the research found that that where the technology was new or foreign, extreme programming was flexible enough to support several iterations of technology and produce prototypes in a timely manner. Extreme programming seems to lower management overhead according to the study, heightens team productivity, and better satisfies customers while building trust between those customers and the developers.