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Nowadays, chronic heart failure (CHF) affects an ever-growing segment of population, and it is among the major causes of hospitalization for elderly citizens. The actual out-of-hospital treatment model, based on periodic visits, has a low capability to detect signs of destabilization and leads to a high re-hospitalization rate. To this aim, in this paper, a complete and integrated Information and Communication Technology system is described enabling the CHF patients to daily collect vital signs at home and automatically send them to the Hospital Information System, allowing the physicians to monitor their patients at distance and take timely actions in case of necessity. A minimum set of vital parameters has been identified, consisting of electrocardiogram, SpO2, blood pressure, and weight, measured through a pool of wireless, non-invasive biomedical sensors. A multi-channel front-end IC for cardiac sensor interfacing has been also developed. Sensor data acquisition and signal processing are in charge of an additional device, the home gateway. All signals are processed upon acquisition in order to assert if both punctual values and extracted trends lay in a safety zone established by thresholds. Per-patient personalized thresholds, required measurements and transmission policy are allowed. As proved by first medical tests, the proposed telemedicine platform represents a valid support to early detect the alterations in vital signs that precede the acute syndromes, allowing early home interventions thus reducing the number of subsequent hospitalizations.
Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:62 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: March 2013