Mobile Health Applications and New Home Care Telecare Systems: Critical Engineering Issues

Mobile Health Applications and New Home Care Telecare Systems: Critical Engineering Issues

Žilbert Tafa (University of Montenegro, Montenegro)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-002-8.ch021
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Abstract

This chapter describes the very actual issues on mobile health (M-H) and home care (H-C) telecare systems, reviewing state of the art as well as theoretical and practical engineering issues crucial for designing these applications. The purpose, advantages and overall information and communication technology (ICT) architectures of M-H and H-C telecare systems are firstly presented. There are several engineering fields involved in the design of modern M-H and H-C applications. Making the optimal application-specific choice in each engineering aspect and achieving the right balance between complementary coupled technological requests are of crucial meaning so the main critical engineering issues (weighted at sensing node’s design and the wireless communications) are presented in details as well. Systematic theoretical review and accentuation of the design and realization problems given in this chapter can contribute in better understanding of crucial engineering issues and challenges on this topic as well as in giving the proper direction lines to approaching the practical realization of M-H and H-C telecare systems.
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From Desktop Telemedicine To The New Wireless Solutions

For more than 30 years, the achievements in IT, electronics, telecommunications and biomedical engineering have been used to facilitate the quality of health care delivery. This kind of approach has provided great benefits in improving the health of population generally, especially by assuring the timely diagnostics and therapeutic treating of patients. Taking the historical view of the technologies that have been used in classical telemedicine applications, one can notice that these applications mainly were designed for fixed-based infrastructure remote monitoring, professional teleconsultations and in providing medical help to remote patients treatment. These applications were concentrated on transferring biomedical and video signals, as well as the medical images and sounds, with the main aim of providing the remote health care service. But, the main drawbacks of the early health delivery systems are contained in the fact that they were not designed to provide the mobility, autonomy of measured subject and health care delivery integrated into patient’s everyday life.

Current and emerging developments in microelectronics and wireless communications integrated with developments in pervasive and wearable technologies will have a radical impact on future health care delivery systems (Istepanian, Jovanov, and Zhang, 2004). The results of these developments make possible the realization of the wireless medical sensors with networking capability. Such medical sensor networks greatly enhance the ability of physicians to timely examine and treat complex biological systems at a distance and effectively reduce the infrastructure cost at hospital side and the travel expense at the patient side. The use of new wireless technologies in health delivery systems, offers many advantages, especially in continuous remote monitoring of patient vital signs. The most important improvements are achieved in earlier illness detection enabling timely medical intervention as well as in the treatment of chronic diseases . The integration of emerging wireless technologies in health delivery applications today is separated in two new engineering challenged disciplines – mobile health and home care telecare systems. Newer concepts represent M-H as a form of e-health evolution from traditional desktop telemedicine to wireless mobile configurations. M-H provides remote medical service delivery (especially the monitoring of biomedical signals) even while patient is in a move and regardless of geographical location of the patient. Home care systems, on the other hand, provide usually more functionality but these systems have the reduced range of mobility. In this case, the mobility range is usually limited to the level of the house, hospital or office. So, the main functional difference between M-H and H-C telecare systems is related to the mobility area. By using small-scale sensing and processing hardware attached to the patient’s body or embedded into patient’s everyday life ambience, both M-H and H-C systems make possible: more often or continuous inspection of patient’s health condition generally, the monitoring of daily variable medical parameters (ECG, SpO2, blood pressure, glucose level, EEG etc.) which variations can point to specific medical conditions and illness etc. The advantages of using the modern m-health and home care applications can be summarized as follows:

  • Medical treatment even when the patients are not situated in medical institution,

  • Continuous, “real time” or store-and-forward insight into patient’s health parameters

  • Mobility and comfort of patients while medically treated

  • Intelligent monitoring systems with the ability to generate alarms

  • Multi-parameter and multi-user health care delivery

  • Tele-consultations and flexibile access to expert opinion and advice at the point of care without delay

  • Easy integration into greater telemedicine systems.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Physiological Signals: Physiological signals are acquired and processed to form psycho-physiological measures. These measures affect game play both through team understanding and altered game mechanics.

Home Care: Home care is health care provided in the patient’s home by healthcare professionals (often referred to as home health care or formal care; in the United States, it is known as skilled care) or by family and friends (also known as caregivers, primary caregiver, or voluntary caregivers who give informal care).

Wireless Communication: Is the transfer of information over a distance without the use of electrical conductors or “wires”. The distances involved may be short (a few meters as in television remote control) or very long (thousands or even millions of kilometers for radio communications). When the context is clear the term is often simply shortened to “wireless”. Wireless communications is generally considered to be a branch of telecommunications.

Sensor: A sensor is a device which measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal which can be read by an observer or by an instrument. For accuracy, all sensors need to be calibrated against known standards. Sensors are used in everyday objects such as touch-sensitive elevator buttons and lamps which dim or brighten by touching the base. There are also innumerable applications for sensors of which most people are never aware. Applications include automobiles, machines, aerospace, medicine, industry, and robotics.

Vital Signs: Vital signs are measures of various physiological statistics often taken by health professionals in order to assess the most basic body functions. Vital signs are an essential part of a case presentation.

Mobile Health: M-health can be defined as emerging mobile communications and network technologies for healthcare. This emerging concept represents the evolution of e-health systems from traditional desktop telemedicine platforms to wireless and mobile configurations.

Telecare: Telecare is the term given to offering remote care of elderly and vulnerable people, providing care and reassurance needed to allow them to remain living in their own homes. Use of sensors allows the management of risk and as part of a package which can support people with dementia, people at risk of falling or at risk of violence and prevent hospital admission.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Preface
Athina A. Lazakidou
Acknowledgment
Athina A. Lazakidou
Chapter 1
Sanjay P. Sood, Sandhya Keeroo, Victor W.A. Mbarika, Nupur Prakash, Ankur Seth
It is claimed that seeds of ‘medical informatics’ were sown in 1960s.From this time until the 1990s experts have described the discipline as... Sample PDF
Medical Informatics: Thirty Six Peer-Reviewed Shades
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Chapter 2
D. John Doyle
E-health technology has started to become commonplace in the clinical world, with practitioners setting up their own Web sites to disseminate... Sample PDF
Medical Privacy and the Internet
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Chapter 3
Ana Ferreira, Ricardo Cruz-Correia, Luís Antunes, David Chadwick
This chapter reports the authors’ experiences regarding security of the electronic medical record (EMR). Although the EMR objectives are to support... Sample PDF
Security of Electronic Medical Records
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Chapter 4
György Surján
This chapter outlines the history of medical classifications in a general cultural context. Classification is a general phenomenon in science and... Sample PDF
The Cultural History of Medical Classifications
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Chapter 5
Spyros Kitsiou
A fundamental requirement for achieving continuity of care is commonly accepted to be the integration and interoperability of different clinical... Sample PDF
Overview and Analysis of Electronic Health Record Standards
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Chapter 6
Graham D. Bodie, Mohan J. Dutta, Ambar Basu
This chapter overviews an integrative model of e-health use that connects social disparities at the population level with individual characteristics... Sample PDF
The Integrative Model of E-Health Use
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Chapter 7
Firat Kart
In this chapter we describe a distributed e-healthcare system that uses service oriented architecture as a basis for designing, implementing... Sample PDF
A Distributed E-Healthcare System
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Chapter 8
Davor Mucic
In this chapter the author gives the short review over wide range of telepsychiatry applications. Furthermore, describes completely new and... Sample PDF
Telepsychiatry Within European E-Health
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Chapter 9
Azizah Omar
In this chapter the author discusses several marketing principles and issues related to pitfalls and successes of Telehealth application in the case... Sample PDF
Pitfalls and Successes of a Web-Based Wellness Program
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Chapter 10
Isabel de la Torre Díez
This chapter describes a Web -based application to store and exchange Electronic Health Records (EHR) and medical images in Ophthalmology... Sample PDF
A Web-Based Application to Exchange Electronic Health Records and Medical Images in Ophthalmology
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Chapter 11
Mario Ceresa
This chapter mainly focuses on biomedical knowledge representation and its use in biomedicine. It first illustrates the existent more relevant... Sample PDF
Clinical and Biomolecular Ontologies for E-Health
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Chapter 12
Roger Tait, Gerald Schaefer
The registration of corresponding patient volumes is often a pre-requisite for medical imaging tasks. Accurate alignment, however, usually results... Sample PDF
Distributed Medical Volume Registration
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Chapter 13
Bill Ag. Drougas
Internet today is one of the most useful tools for information, education and business or entertainment. It is one of the modern technology tools... Sample PDF
Electronic Commerce for Health Products Services-Problems- Quality and Future
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Chapter 14
Christos Bountis
This chapter introduces and reviews the concept of distributed knowledge management within the Healthcare environment and between Healthcare and... Sample PDF
Distributed Knowledge Management in Healthcare
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Chapter 15
Jelena Vucetic
This paper describes business and technological challenges and solutions for a successful emergency telemedicine venture called MediComm. Its... Sample PDF
An Analysis of a Successful Emergency Telemedicine Venture
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Chapter 16
Tammara Massey, Foad Dabiri, Roozbeh Jafari, Hyduke Noshadi, Philip Brisk, Majid Sarrafzadeh
This chapter introduces reconfigurable design techniques for light-weight medical systems. The research presented in this chapter demonstrates how... Sample PDF
Reconfigurable Embedded Medical Systems
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Chapter 17
Konstantinos Perakis
The evolutions in the field of telecommunications technologies, with the robustness and the fidelity these new systems provide, have significantly... Sample PDF
Third Generation (3G) Cellular Networks in Telemedicine: Technological Overview, Applications, and Limitations
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Chapter 18
Anton V. Vladzymyrskyy
This chapter introduces usage of telemedicine consultations in daily clinical practice. Author has describe process of teleconsultation, sample... Sample PDF
Telemedicine Consultations in Daily Clinical Practice: Systems, Organisation, Efficiency
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Chapter 19
Cheon-Pyo Lee, J. P. Shim
Ubiquitous healthcare has become possible with rapid advances in information and communication technologies. Ubiquitous healthcare will bring about... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Healthcare: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in Hospitals
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Chapter 20
Rafael Capilla, Alfonso del Río, Miguel Ángel Valero, José Antonio Sánchez
This chapter deals with the conceptualization, design and implementation of an m-health solution to support ubiquitous, integrated and continuous... Sample PDF
Agile Patient Care with Distributed M-Health Applications
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Chapter 21
Žilbert Tafa
This chapter describes the very actual issues on mobile health (M-H) and home care (H-C) telecare systems, reviewing state of the art as well as... Sample PDF
Mobile Health Applications and New Home Care Telecare Systems: Critical Engineering Issues
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Chapter 22
José Antonio Seoane Fernández, Juan Luis Pérez Ordóñez, Noha Veiguela Blanco
This chapter presents an architecture for the integration of various algorithms for digital image processing (DIP) into web-based information... Sample PDF
A New System for the Integration of Medical Imaging Processing Algorithms into a Web Environment
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Chapter 23
Daniel Welfer
This chapter discusses the concept of open-source picture archiving and communication systems (i.e. PACS), which are low cost, and easy to... Sample PDF
PACS Based on Open-Source Software Components
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Chapter 24
Carolin Kaiser
This chapter introduces a case based reasoning (CBR) system for customizing treatment processes. The CBR system enables the generating of inpatient... Sample PDF
Case Based Reasoning for Customizing Treatment Processes
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Chapter 25
I. Apostolakis, A. Chryssanthou, I. Varlamis
A significant issue in health related applications is protecting a patient’s profile data from unauthorized access. In the case of telemedicine... Sample PDF
A Holistic Perspective of Security in Health Related Virtual Communities
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Chapter 26
Stamatia Ilioudi
This chapter aims to present various virtual learning environments for medical purposes in the world. More than ever, medical students and... Sample PDF
Virtual Learning Environments in Health
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Chapter 27
Jelena Vucetic
In the last decade, advances in medicine, telemedicine, computer technologies, information systems, Web applications, robotics and... Sample PDF
Multimedia Distance Learning Solutions for Surgery
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Chapter 28
Maria Andréia F. Rodrigues
This chapter shows how recent computing technologies such as collaborative virtual environments, high speed networks and mobile devices can be used... Sample PDF
Collaborative Virtual Environments and Multimedia Communication Technologies in Healthcare
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Chapter 29
Tiffany A. Koszalka, Bradley Olson
A major issue facing medical education training programs across the USA is the recent advent of universal mandatory duty hour limitations and the... Sample PDF
Transforming a Pediatrics Lecture Series to Online Instruction
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Chapter 30
Anastasia N. Kastania, Stelios Zimeras
In this chapter the authors investigate telehealth quality and reliability assurance. Various models and standards can be applied to assess software... Sample PDF
Quality and Reliability Aspects in Telehealth Systems
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Chapter 31
Kleopatra Alamantariotou
Recent statistics show that the World Wide Web has now grown to over 100 million sites: a phenomenal expansion in only 15 years (Mulligan 2007). It... Sample PDF
Quality of Health Information on the Internet
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Chapter 32
Kashif Hussain
This chapter provides a practical approach to computerized system validation (CSV) for the pharmaceutical organizations for the users dealing with... Sample PDF
A Practical Approach to Computerized System Validation
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Chapter 33
Bill Ag Drougas, Maria Sevdali
Ergophysiology as a division of the Physiology and helps us today to understand what happens in the human body and movement and how we are able to... Sample PDF
Organization and Evaluation of Experimental Measurements of Ergophysiological Data with the Method of SF12V2
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Chapter 34
Daniele Apiletti
Current advances in sensing devices and wireless technologies are providing a high opportunity for improving care quality and reducing the medical... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Risk Analysis of Physiological Data
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Chapter 35
Manfred Doepp
In our energy diagnostic department we noticed more and more cases with irrational stimulus-reaction- patterns and with a chaotic regulation state... Sample PDF
Chaotization of Human Systems by Technical Electromagnetic Fields
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Chapter 36
Mary Schmeida, Ramona McNeal
This chapter is an analysis of demographic variables influencing policy outcomes with online health information searches in the general U.S. public.... Sample PDF
Demographic Differences in Telehealth Policy Outcomes
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About the Contributors