2. System Description
Remote patient monitoring is determined by the requirements of the potential users of the system. Monitoring vital signs can include body temperature, electrocardiogram (ECG), oxygen saturation (SpO2), blood pressure, blood glucose level, respiration and rate video monitoring (Lin et al. 2004).
M-health systems, in remote monitoring, use mobile electronic devices (MEDs), such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones. The main wireless technologies that are used are GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System [UMTS]. As Aart Van Halteren et al mentions ‘The expansion and availability of high (mobile) bandwidth (General Packet Radio Service [GPRS] and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System [UMTS]) combined with the ever-advancing miniaturisation of sensor devices and com¬puters, will give rise to new services and applications that will have a major effect is healthcare.’(2004).
The following diagram, Figure 1, provides an approximation of a remote patient monitoring system architectures. The system architecture below is a generic idea of how the remote patient monitoring is working and it is based on the assumption that medical sensors will be used.
Source: developed from Jones et al.(2004), Halteren et al, (2004)
Figure 1: M-health System Architecture
Vital signs such as blood pressure, weight, blood sugar, and electrocardiography (ECG) are measured using wearable sensors. The medical sensor is a collection of (inter) communicating devices which are worn on the body, providing an integrated set of personalised services to the user (WWRF, 2001) The sensors will gather the patient’s data (blood pressure, heart rate etc) and forward it to the PDA or mobile phone through a wired channel (USB or serial port). The PDA/mobile phone has software which can process the patients’ data. Nowadays there is mobile and hardware software available for remote monitoring like Motorola remote...