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Many elder patients have multiple health conditions such as heart attacks (of various kinds), brain problems (such as seizure, mental disorder, etc.), high blood pressure, etc. Monitoring those conditions needs different types of sensors for analog signal data acquisition, such as electrocardiogram (ECG) for heart beats, electroencephalogram (EEG) for brain signals, and electromyogram (EMG) for muscles motions. To reduce mobile-health (m-health) cost, the above sensors should be made in tiny size, low memory, and long-term battery operations. We have designed a series of medical sensors with wireless networking capabilities. In this paper, we report our work in three aspects: (1) networked embedded system design, (2) network congestion reduction, and (3) network loss compensation. First, for networked embedded system design, we have designed an integrated wireless sensor network hardware / software platform for multi-condition patient monitoring. Such a system integrates ECG/EEG/other sensors with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) into a Radio Frequency (RF) board through a programmable interface chip, called PSoc. Second, for network congestion reduction, the interface chip can use compressive signal processing to extract bio-signal feature parameters and only transmit those parameters. This provides an alternative approach to sensor network congestion reduction that aims to alleviate ?hot spot? issues. Third, for network loss compensation, we have designed wireless loss recovery schemes for different situations as follows. (1) If original sensor data streams are transmitted, network congestion will be a big concern due to the heavy traffic. A receiver-only loss prediction will be a good solution. (2) If the signal parameters are transmitted, the transmission loss mandates a 100% recovery rate. We have comprehensively compared the performance of those schemes. The proposed mechanisms for m-health system have potentially significant impacts on today's elder nur- sing home management and other mobile patient monitoring applications.
Date of Publication: May 2009