Applying Tech: Telemonitoring
How are you influencing Telemonitoring devices?
Business Development Manager, Medical and Connectivity Operation, Freescale Semiconductor
Dr. Terenzio Facchinetti
Health & Life Sciences Business Development Manager, UL International GmbH
eHealth, telemedicine, EHR, interoperability, and other names are currently the key terms used in the discussion of the future of healthcare. The vision is to transform the current communication tools and utilization of medical devices and healthcare-related peripherals to a networked system capable of offering better service and care to patients and users, significantly contributing to the containment of healthcare expenditures, and stimulating the healthcare industry to develop new types of products and technologies. The keys to success of this ambitious undertaking are privacy, data transfer security, and safe interoperability of the medical devices and related peripherals. The entire picture could be envisioned as made up of three main sectors EHR/EMR and related communication, use of medical devices in an interoperable clinical environment, and mobile health (the use of mobile phones and mobile communications). All three sectors have specific safety requirements to be addressed in order to minimize the risk of harm to patients, users, and the environment; however, they are all interrelated as well. UL is actively engaged in working with industry and regulators to address these issues.
Program Manager Body Area Networks, imec/Holst Centre
Telemonitoring brings health monitoring, diagnostics, and care to the home of the patients. Intelligent body area networks consisting of wireless sensor nodes that continuously monitor vital body parameters, such as heart, muscle, and brain activity, will be instrumental in implementing this shift in healthcare systems. They allow people to be monitored and followed up on at home, doing their daily life activities. They provide long-term monitoring, while maintaining user mobility and comfort. By processing the recorded data in the sensor system itself, direct feedback to patient, caretaker, and doctor via in-house diagnosis is being enabled. When needed, it can trigger an alarm for immediate action.
A major issue in developing such body area networks is the reduction of the overall power consumption so that the system can be powered for several days or weeks on a small battery. Therefore, such sensor systems rely on a low-power platform comprising ultra-low power amplifier and wireless communication chips and data processors for increased lifetime. Optimized circuits and embedded algorithms for increased robustness to noise ensure reliable operation under daily life activities. The ultimate target is the realization of body area networks consuming an average power of 100 µW, enabling more comfortable, and cost- and time-efficient healthcare.