Mobile Health Care-Towards a commercialization of research results
MobiHealth and HealthService24 are two major EU projects targeting the development and validation, with extensive medical trials, of innovative systems and services for mobile health care. Biosignals are measured by sensor devices connected to a wireless Body Area Network. These signals are transmitted reliably and securely over public wireless networks (e.g. GPRS, UMTS) to a remote healthcare organisation where healthcare professionals can monitor, diagnose and provide advice to patients in real time. The developed system and its services is in the last phase of the pre-commercial validation, expecting a commercial release of the system late 2006.
Today the health sector faces serious and increasing problems in the management of resources for disease prevention, follow-up and remote assistance of patients. The cost of intramural patient care is increasingly creating problems for both patients and social security organizations, while on the other hand citizens are becoming more health conscious, demanding advanced health services and ubiquitous health care. One solution that can contribute in relieving the pressure on health care organizations come from extramural (i.e. remote) monitoring of the patients’ health state. This direction of mobile health (m-health) services was investigated and different systems are proposed by many manufacturing companies. However, a comprehensive service for remote health monitoring is today practically non-existent. Towards this direction we have completed MobiHealth [MobiH] and are running HealthService24 [HS24], a commercial validation project for the development and deployment of value-added mobile health (m-health) services, using public wireless GPRS or UMTS networks. The MobiHealth project was completed in February 2004, delivering a technically validated and fully functional prototype of a biosignal monitoring service which creates a possibility for monitoring extramural patients. Biosignals (e.g. 1 to 7 lead ECG, respiration frequency and oxygen saturation) are