Design and Deployment of a Mobile-Based Medical Alert System

Design and Deployment of a Mobile-Based Medical Alert System

N.A. Ikhu-Omoregbe (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria) and A.A. Azeta (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-123-8.ch010

Abstract

The use of wireless technology for health care delivery is having great impacts in the health care sector on a global scale. However, alert systems in medical institutions are rare. As a result of this, patients find it hard to keep track of scheduled meetings with medical personnel; they also find it difficult to keep track of prescribed medications. These could have adverse impacts on patients’ health, especially for those with chronic diseases. This chapter therefore, presents the design, deployment and evaluation of a mobile-based medical alert system (MAS) for managing diseases where adherence or compliance is paramount for effective treatment. The system alerts the patients and medical practitioners about information and emergencies via text messaging on handheld devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. It also allows users to receive scheduled appointment and medication updates that will facilitate their treatment processes. The prototype application is developed by the incremental software process model and runs on a GSM network.
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Introduction

At the end of this chapter, readers will understand:

  • The meaning and importance of mobile HealthCare

  • The meaning of medical alert systems

  • Describe the components of medical alert systems

  • The benefits of using Short Message System (SMS) in health care services

  • How to implement and deploy medical alert systems

  • How to evaluate mobile health care based systems

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Background

Ubiquitous health systems which focus on automated applications that can provide HealthCare to citizen anywhere/anytime using wired and wireless mobile technologies is becoming increasingly important. Consequently, hand-held devices especially PDAs and smart phones have been reported to become increasingly prevalent for health care delivery (Trevor et al., 2004; Wickramasinghe et al., 2004; Baldwin, 2005). Research efforts and the use of wireless communications technologies to extend the reach, range and maneuverability of health care applications are covered in (Kyriacou et al., 2003; Voskarides et al., 2002; Mobile, n. d; James, 1996; MobilePoint, 2004); Kugean, 2002; Qureshi, 2005; Robert, 2005; Aura, 2006; Kim, 2005; Tang, 2004). Other research work that demonstrate the feasibility, convenience, and efficiency of using handheld devices in enhancing care delivering in areas such as transferring clinical data (Kim, 2005; Tang, 2004), electronic messaging systems (Wojceichowski et al., 2006; Wojciech et al., 2008; ng, 2007) have also been widely reported. The increasing adoption of mobile technology devices such as PDAs, cell phones, and laptops, for HealthCare (mobile health care) delivery is due to the flexibility and portability they offer to the physicians than some more computational desktop computers. In addition, hand-held devices and the applications bundled within them are significantly cheaper and require very little training unlike most PC-based alternatives. Furthermore, mobile devices support features that allow remote users to synchronize personal databases and provide access to network services such as wireless e-mail, Web browsing, and Internet access, thus meeting the mobility needs of patients or medical practitioners who are always on the move.

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