Design and Implementation of a Telemedicine System

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Technology and Health Care 13 (2005) 199–219 IOS Press

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Design and implementation of a telemedicine system using Bluetooth protocol and GSM/GPRS network, for real time remote patient monitoring Yousef Jasemian∗ and Lars Arendt Nielsen
Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction (SMI), Department of Health Science & Technology, Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7, Bld. D-3, DK-9220, Aalborg E., Denmark Received 1 September 2004 Accepted 12 February 2005 Abstract. This paper introduces the design and implementation of a generic wireless and Real-time Multi-purpose Health Care Telemedicine system applying Bluetooth protocol, Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). The paper explores the factors that should be considered when evaluating different technologies for application in telemedicine system. The design and implementation of an embedded wireless communication platform utilising Bluetooth protocol is described, and the implementation problems and limitations are investigated. The system is tested and its telecommunication general aspects are verified. The results showed that the system has (97.9 ± 1.3)% Up-time, 2.5 × 10−5 Bit Error Rate, 1% Dropped Call Rate, 97.4% Call Success Rate, 5 second transmission delay in average, (3.42 ± 0.11) kbps throughput, and the system may have application in electrocardiography. Keywords: Telemedicine, Bluetooth, GSM, GPRS, data security, performance, reliability, safety, healthcare

1. Introduction In a modern healthcare service, where the health authorities optimise the resources most effectively, it is in many cases an option to treat/monitor as many patients as possible at their home. Telemedicine implies telecommunication technology, information technology and biomedical engineering, and it is showing its value in a rapidly increasing number of clinical situations [1,6,20,36]. There have been many studies around the world that have proved the feasibility and usefulness of telemedicine for monitoring e.g. electrocardiography (ECG) [2,17,26]. Fixed communication network has been used in different telemedicine setup for some years and it has shown its values, whereas wireless and cellular technologies within telemedicine have been developed only in the last few years [1,6,7,14,20,25,28,34,36]. There is a need for development of a real-time mobile telemedicine system for long term continuously monitoring patients in a distance. ∗ Address for correspondence: Yousef Jasemian, M. Sc.EE., Soendergade 58, 1.sal, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark. Tel.: +45 23 45 18 29; Fax: +45 98 15 40 08; E-mail: yj@hst.aau.dk.

0928-7329/05/$17.00 © 2005 – IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved

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Y. Jasemian and L.A. Nielsen / Design and implementation of a telemedicine system using Bluetooth protocol

One of the sole decisive factors that will make a telemedicine system successful, in urban and rural areas, is the application of modern communication technology for information exchange between a homebound patient and the medical specialists providing care. By integrating telemedicine in home healthcare policy a radical improvement in disease management, diagnoses and treatment can be achieved and a lot of resources and money can be saved. Moreover, patient’s comfort e.g. mobility will be obtained. In spite of communication’s link improvement, and despite all progress in advanced telecommunication technologies, the progress in the development of telemedicine system using advanced telecommunication technologies were not intact with that, and there are still very few functioning commercial wireless mobile monitoring device presented at the market, which are most off-line, and there are still a number of issues to deal with. The present study designed, developed and implemented a real-time wireless telemedicine system using modern communication technologies. The aims of this study are as follows: 1. To design and implement a generic wireless and...
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