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Implementation of a WAP-based telemedicine system for patient monitoring

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2 Author(s)
Kevin Hung ; Joint Res. Center for Biomed. Eng., Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, China ; Yuan-Ting Zhang

Many parties have already demonstrated telemedicine applications that use cellular phones and the Internet. A current trend in telecommunication is the convergence of wireless communication and computer network technologies, and the emergence of wireless application protocol (WAP) devices is an example. Since WAP will also be a common feature found in future mobile communication devices, it is worthwhile to investigate its use in telemedicine. This paper describes the implementation and experiences with a WAP-based telemedicine system for patient-monitoring that has been developed in our laboratory. It utilizes WAP devices as mobile access terminals for general inquiry and patient-monitoring services. Authorized users can browse the patients' general data, monitored blood pressure (BP), and electrocardiogram (ECG) on WAP devices in store-and-forward mode. The applications, written in wireless markup language (WML), WMLScript, and Perl, resided in a content server. A MySQL relational database system was set up to store the BP readings, ECG data, patient records, clinic and hospital information, and doctors' appointments with patients. A wireless ECG subsystem was built for recording ambulatory ECG in an indoor environment and for storing ECG data into the database. For testing, a WAP phone compliant with WAP 1.1 was used at GSM 1800 MHz by circuit-switched data (CSD) to connect to the content server through a WAP gateway, which was provided by a mobile phone service provider in Hong Kong. Data were successfully retrieved from the database and displayed on the WAP phone. The system shows how WAP can be feasible in remote patient-monitoring and patient data retrieval.

Published in:

Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 2 )