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Hypertension and arrhythmia are chronic diseases, which can be effectively prevented and controlled only if the physiological parameters of the patient are constantly monitored, along with the full support of the health education and professional medical care. In this paper, a role-based intelligent mobile care system with alert mechanism in chronic care environment is proposed and implemented. The roles in our system include patients, physicians, nurses, and healthcare providers. Each of the roles represents a person that uses a mobile device such as a mobile phone to communicate with the server setup in the care center such that he or she can go around without restrictions. For commercial mobile phones with Bluetooth communication capability attached to chronic patients, we have developed physiological signal recognition algorithms that were implemented and built-in in the mobile phone without affecting its original communication functions. It is thus possible to integrate several front-end mobile care devices with Bluetooth communication capability to extract patients' various physiological parameters [such as blood pressure, pulse, saturation of haemoglobin (SpO2), and electrocardiogram (ECG)], to monitor multiple physiological signals without space limit, and to upload important or abnormal physiological information to healthcare center for storage and analysis or transmit the information to physicians and healthcare providers for further processing. Thus, the physiological signal extraction devices only have to deal with signal extraction and wireless transmission. Since they do not have to do signal processing, their form factor can be further reduced to reach the goal of microminiaturization and power saving. An alert management mechanism has been included in back-end healthcare center to initiate various strategies for automatic emergency alerts after receiving emergency messages or after automatically recognizing emergency messages. Within the - - time intervals in system setting, according to the medical history of a specific patient, our prototype system can inform various healthcare providers in sequence to provide healthcare service with their reply to ensure the accuracy of alert information and the completeness of early warning notification to further improve the healthcare quality. In the end, with the testing results and performance evaluation of our implemented system prototype, we conclude that it is possible to set up a complete intelligent health care chain with mobile monitoring and healthcare service via the assistance of our system.
Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:11 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2007