Home/out of hospital disease monitoring and management
It's one thing to engage in VSM for people who have no apparent medical issues, and are trying to assess and improve their lifestyles through exercise, activity, and diet. But when the individual has a condition which needs close, detailed monitoring, the demands on the technology become more stringent.
For example, to provide detailed ECG waveform data, the traditional solution is to use a Holter monitor which records the biometric signals for one or just several days. However, for patients with arrhythmia symptoms (very sporadic), a longer recording time frame may be required, and the monitor should be as unobtrusive as possible.
The final challenge in a successful, viable personal VSM is getting the data "out". As with most engineering situations, there is no single, best solution that fits all applications. The VSM devices cited above use a variety of approaches.
A wireless link is preferred, of course, since it eliminates connectors and the problems they endure: dirt, intermittents, and physical abuse. Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), both in the 2.4 GHz band, have strong market positions, with the latter becoming increasingly dominant in VSM applications.
But don’t rule out network-based approaches, either. For users such as those in an assisted-living facility, ZigBee (also 2.4 GHz) is a viable option and does not require smartphones or similar nodes. Further, even proprietary approaches have their place: the sub-1 GHz ISM band is used in products with low-rate, intermittent data, such as fall detection alarms associated with seniors living alone.
About the author
Tony Zarola is a Strategic Marketing Manager, Vital Signs Monitoring, in the Healthcare Group at Analog Devices. A 24-year veteran with ADI from the UK, Tony has worked in various parts of the company around the world, including periods as a Characterization Engineer working on ADCs, a Marketing Manager in the broadband group, and a Product Line Manager for DSP products. Currently, Tony is focusing his attention on defining new products to support the next wave of medical innovation.
. How healthy is your heart?Visit Medical Designline
. Medical electronics: from hospital and clinic to the home
. Freescale floats home teleheath reference platform
. A perspective on invention, innovation, and regulation of medical devices
. Streamlining the design of portable medical electronics
. Medical device spending stuck in the 1990's
. Top 10 medical ‘how-to’ articles of 2012