There are many benefits which wireless and mobile telemedicine can provide to healthcare and medical applications. Some of the specific benefits are outlined as follows. First, it can provide rapid responses to critical medical care, regardless of geographical barriers. It can be quickly deployed in disaster recovery areas, where existing communication links may have been disrupted. Second, it can provide flexible and reliable access to expert opinion and advice at the point of care with insignificant delay, and with improved management of medical resources. Third, it can allow patients to remain in their communities and receive medical services. This significantly reduces the costs of healthcare through improved healthcare management systems and reduced travel expenses. Fourth, it can provide interactive medical consultation and communication of medical records, image and video data in mobility scenarios, and with global coverage and connectivity, and fifth, it can support the empowerment and management of medical expertise in rural and underserved areas through the use of wireless infrastructureless networking technologies.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET): It is a self-configuring network of mobile nodes connected by wireless links.
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN): WLANs are defined in the IEEE 802.11 standard.
SpO2: A measurement of the amount of oxygen attached to the hemoglobin cell in the circulatory system.
General Packet Radio Service (GPRS): It provides mobile and wireless data services.
Electrocardiogram (ECG): It measures heart’s electrical activity.
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP): It is an application that allows users to access information instantly via handheld wireless devices such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smart phones, and PDAs.
Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM): A set of standards for handling, storing, and transmitting information in medical imaging.
Health Level 7 (HL7): It is a standard for healthcare, and is the interface standard for communication between various systems employed in the medical community.
Bluetooth: Wireless technology that enables data connections between electronic devices—such as desktop computers, wireless phones, electronic organizers, and printers—within a short communication range, typically about 10 meters.
Personal Digital Assistant (PDA): A hand-held computer device which manages personal information and interacts with other computers and telecommunications systems.