Multi-purpose healthcare telemedicine systems with mobile communication link support
AuthorKyriacou, Efthyvoulos C.
Pavlopoulos, Sotirios A.
Anagnostaki, Anthoula P.
Schizas, Christos N.
Pattichis, Constantinos S.
Andreou, Andreas S.
Koutsouris, Demetrios Dionysios
SourceBioMedical Engineering Online
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The provision of effective emergency telemedicine and home monitoring solutions are the major fields of interest discussed in this study. Ambulances, Rural Health Centers (RHC) or other remote health location such as Ships navigating in wide seas are common examples of possible emergency sites, while critical care telemetry and telemedicine home follow-ups are important issues of telemonitoring. In order to support the above different growing application fields we created a combined real-time and store and forward facility that consists of a base unit and a telemedicine (mobile) unit. This integrated system: can be used when handling emergency cases in ambulances, RHC or ships by using a mobile telemedicine unit at the emergency site and a base unit at the hospital-expert's site, enhances intensive health care provision by giving a mobile base unit to the ICU doctor while the telemedicine unit remains at the ICU patient site and enables home telemonitoring, by installing the telemedicine unit at the patient's home while the base unit remains at the physician's office or hospital. The system allows the transmission of vital biosignals (3-12 lead ECG, SPO2, NIBP, IBP, Temp) and still images of the patient. The transmission is performed through GSM mobile telecommunication network, through satellite links (where GSM is not available) or through Plain Old Telephony Systems (POTS) where available. Using this device a specialist doctor can telematically "move" to the patient's site and instruct unspecialized personnel when handling an emergency or telemonitoring case. Due to the need of storing and archiving of all data interchanged during the telemedicine sessions, we have equipped the consultation site with a multimedia database able to store and manage the data collected by the system. The performance of the system has been technically tested over several telecommunication meansin addition the system has been clinically validated in three different countries using a standardized medical protocol. © 2003 Kyriacou et allicensee BioMed Central Ltd.
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