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Providing a cushion for wireless healthcare application development

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5 Author(s)
Yu Hu ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada ; Stoelting, A. ; Yi-Tao Wang ; Yi Zou
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Recent advances in the electronics industry and wireless communication have enabled the evolution of innovative application domains. Smaller embedded processors and systems have allowed a new level of mobile communication and interaction in everyday life. In particular, the expansion of broadband wireless services and the advancement of handheld technology have allowed for real-time patient monitoring in locations where not previously possible. Low-cost sensors and wireless systems can now create a constantly vigilant and pervasive monitoring capability at home, work, and in conventional point-of-care environments (e.g., primary care physician offices, outpatient clinics, and rehabilitation centers). A large research community (e.g., the UCLA Wireless Health Institute) and a nascent industry is beginning to connect medical care with technology developers, vendors of wireless and sensing hardware systems, network service providers, and enterprise data management communities. Wearable devices focusing on personal health, rehabilitation, and early disease detection are now being prototyped. All of this has led to the new notion of "wireless healthcare." In this paper, we have presented an infrastructure for a typical wireless healthcare application-a smart cushion for back pain prevention. Many other interesting applications can be developed based on similar frameworks. For instance, the Nike+iPod sport kit can be simply implemented by integrating the on-cushion circuitries into the insole of the shoes. Due to the configurability of the system, design issues such as power and reliability can be optimized through modifications of the data sampling rate, communication frequency, and the analysis algorithms running on the handset.

Published in:

Potentials, IEEE  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 1 )