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Wireless Monitoring System for Patients with Debilitating Conditions

Healthcare workers will be able to assess the health of patients suffering from debilitating conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD or Parkinson's disease, by using a wireless monitoring system without obstructing their movements. The Biomedical Engineering and Technology’s international journal has reported the details of this system. 

According to Kalasalingam University’s Pallikonda Rajasekaran and his colleagues, assessing the state of the disease in normal conditions in patients’ their daily life is proving to be increasingly critical in enhancing patient treatment, follow up of the progress, and reduction in health costs by eliminating unnecessary hospital visits and medical call outs.

Vital clues regarding many health problems related to the like of COPD and PD are also delivered to the researchers by such ambulatory investigations.

The real-time patient monitoring system, developed by Rajasekaran and colleagues, incorporates electronic patient records, sensor network, vital signs and Internet portal technology that calls up medical personnel whenever life-threatening events happen.  

Monitoring technology currently used involve include issues such as inconvenient wires between processing unit and sensors,  unwieldy equipment, lack of integration between various sensors, lack of support for knowledge discovery and data collection. Support for data collection and knowledge that could help medical research is absent.  The new system circumvents these issues to a great extent.

The team has provided knowledge on current enhancements in wireless communications, and sensor technology low-power integrated circuits, which have made it possible to design lightweight, miniature, and low-cost sensors like heart rate, movement, blood pressure and temperature sensors. These gadgets can track many signals, process their data, and integrate with wireless networks seamlessly for health monitoring.

The team has demonstrated their integrated wireless system’s efficacy in terms of vital signs monitoring and rehabilitating patients with COPD and PD. They have programmed the sensors also for transmitting alert signals when the body temperature is above a particular value, below a particular heart rate, or more than 10% in blood pressure.

The system revolves on a 750 meter range standard wireless networking technology, hooks to an earlier available Internet-based information portal, and delivers useful emergency response information.

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