Wireless Medical Monitor Advantages and Disadvantages The Concept

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There are two essential categories of wireless medical devices: (1) wireless medical monitors and (2) wireless medical devices. Differences between these categories involve whether the devices only monitor health or also treat a medical problem. Wireless physiological measurements have a number of advantages over wired measurements, including ease of use, reduced risk of infection, reduced risk of failure, reduced user discomfort, enhanced mobility, and lower cost of care delivery

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Surrounding Networks

Fig. 1 An illustration of various bodily functions measured by wireless medical monitors

Surrounding Networks

Fig. 1 An illustration of various bodily functions measured by wireless medical monitors

(Townsend et al. 2005) (Fig. 1). Many of these advantages come from the fact that no invasive procedure is needed to obtain a diagnosis using wireless medical monitors.

The paramount advantage of wireless measurements and, thus, wireless medical devices, is their potential to treat a medical problem at the location it was measured (Hao and Foster 2008). Moreover, the use of wireless physiological measurement systems outside the hospital could also help to reduce overall healthcare costs, especially among patients with chronic diseases capable of receiving care at home. Of course, the main disadvantage of wireless medical technology is the increased challenges in designing and fabricating wireless medical devices. Wireless physiological measurements have not only found applications in healthcare, but have also been applied in the areas of military, security, sport, and fitness monitoring (Hao and Foster 2008).

Clearly, a wireless physiological measurement system is meant to alert the medical emergency system if vital signs drop below certain threshold (Hao and Foster 2008). In this scenario, the exact location of the patient needs to be transmitted, along with any useful medical information that could assist the emergency team. For example, in the United States, each year, about 1.1 million Americans suffer a heart attack. About 460,000 of those heart attacks are fatal. About half of those deaths occur within 1 h of the start of symptoms and before the person reaches the hospital (Hao and Foster 2008). The use of wireless physiological measurement systems could help save lives, in that they could detect and warn of early symptoms of impending cardiac (or other) problems, enabling the patient to receive potentially life-saving treatments earlier (Hao and Foster 2008). Of course, identification of a health problem is only part of the solution. Designing sensors that can treat the medical problem after it has been identified is necessary.

A wireless physiological measurement system measures in real-time, a bio-signal for local processing (Hao and Foster 2008). A good example is an automatic internal cardiac defibrillator (AICD, also known as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator or ICD), which acts to restore the regular heart rhythm by delivering an electric shock if abnormal behavior is detected, potentially averting sudden cardiac death (Hao and Foster 2008). Another example is implantable drug delivery systems, which deliver medication more efficiently for chemotherapy, pain management, diabetic insulin delivery, and AIDS therapy, by locally processing wireless physiological measurements (Jones et al. 2006).

A wireless physiological measurement system can also provide real bio-signal information for post-processing (Hao and Foster 2008). In the military, a WPMS implementation can facilitate remote noninvasive monitoring of vital signs of soldiers during training exercises and combat. For example, it can be used to remotely determine a soldiers' condition by medics in a combat situation, without exposing first-responders to increased risks, or to quickly identify the severity of injuries and continuously track the injured condition until they arrive safely at a medical care facility (Hao and Foster 2008). Such devices can keep track of an injured person's vital signs, allowing rapid distribution of the information to medical providers and assisting emergency responders in making critical, and often life-saving, decisions in order to expedite rescue operations (Mendelson et al. 2006). Examples of wireless physiological measurement systems can be found in Table 1 while those being used commercially and researched academically can be found in Tables 2 and 3, respectively (Hao and Foster 2008).

Table 1 Applications of wireless physiological measurement systems and their classification

Critical monitoring

Monitoring chronically ill patients with heart disease, diabetes, and epilepsy

Monitoring at home and nursing home for elderly and demented people

Monitoring vital signs of soldiers in battle

Vehicles such as ambulances when transporting patients

Monitoring the consciousness of drivers, pilots, and operators of heavy machinery

Medical research teams can carry out unobtrusive patient studies and clinical field trials over an extensive period

Remote telemedicine

Noncritical monitoring

Monitoring physical conditions and efficiency of a sport athlete during exercises

Control and feedback during athlete training

Crime investigation with wireless lie detectors

In the hospital to reduce discomfort and restriction of wires Monitoring employees to identify those who are engaged in unlawful activities

Table 2 Some current commercial applications of wireless physiological measurement systems





TeleMuse Biocontrol

This is a mobile physiological monitor for

Medical care and


acquiring ECG, EMG, EOG, EEG, and GSR data from wireless sensors using ZigBee technology


VitalSense Integrated

This is a chest-worn wireless physiological

Fitness and exercise


monitor that incorporates an ECG-signal

Monitoring System

processor and offers wireless transmission of heart rate and respiration rate to a handheld monitor

The Security Alert

Wrist-mounted surveillance monitors

Security and safety

Tracking System,

blood oxygen saturation and heart

Third Eye Inc.

rate fluctuations noninvasively; the information is transmitted wirelessly to a central monitoring system. It can assist in apprehending employees engaged in unlawful activities in casino and banks

The Alive Heart and

This Bluetooth device monitors the heart

Medical care,

Activity Monitor,

rate and activity, including ECGs, blood

research, fitness,


oximeters, and blood glucose meters. It communicates with software on your mobile phone to log and upload information to a central Internet server

and exercise

Polar Heart Rate

This is a watch combined with a heart rate

Fitness and exercise


monitor, altimeter, and speed/distance

S625X Polar

monitor. It communicates wirelessly with a chest belt

PillCamĀ® Capsule

The tiny camera contained in the capsule captures

Medical care

Endoscopy Given

images of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract as it


travels through the body and transmits the images to a computer, so the physician can view them and make a diagnosis

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  • gianni
    What are the merity and dismerity of vital signs?
    3 years ago
  • Eemeli
    What are advantage and dis advantage of vital sign?
    2 years ago

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