Modified Bluetooth speeds up telemedicine

November 02, 2009

A telemedicine system based on a modified version of the Bluetooth wireless protocol can transfer patient data, such as medical images from patient to the healthcare provider's mobile device for patient assessment almost four times as fast as conventional Bluetooth and without the intermittent connectivity problems, according to a paper in the forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics.

Telemedicine is a rapidly developing technology of clinical medicine where medical information is transferred via telephone, the internet or other networks for the purpose of consulting as a remote medical procedure. However, there are drawbacks to using direct connections between monitoring devices and the healthcare provider, not least the intermittency of standard connections.

Now, T. Kesavamurthy and Subha Rani of the PSG College of Technology Peelamedu, in Coimbatore, India, have devised a dedicated embedded system that uses the short-range Bluetooth wireless networking protocol to connect patient data to the network and then on to the healthcare provider. This avoids the problem of trying to ensure that a viable connection between monitoring devices and the internet or cellular phone network is maintained constantly.

The team has demonstrated a specific application of their technology which involves the transfer of patient medical images (CT scans) to the healthcare provider's personal digital assistant (PDA) device as an example of how Bluetooth might work for telemedicine.

"In medical imaging, picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) are computers in networks dedicated to the storage, retrieval, distribution and presentation of images," the team explains. However, PACS, which replaces hard-copy based means of managing medical images, such as film archives, cannot circumvent the connectivity issues associated with standard internet connections.

The team has developed a system that can handle the digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) standard for medical images and use it to produce compressible images that can be transferred readily using Bluetooth.

The embedded system used in this project is an ARM based processor (AT91SAM9263), which is a 32 bit advanced embedded processor of the type commonly used in mobile data devices. "The design and implementation of an embedded wireless communication platform using Bluetooth serial communication protocol is proposed and problems and limitations are investigated," the team explains.

The team adds that tests with DICOM images of approximately 1.5 megabytes can be transferred using their modified Bluetooth system in just 120 seconds, compared with 400 seconds for standard Bluetooth.
-end-
"DICOM medical image transmission using Bluetooth through ARM based processor for telemedicine applications" in Int. J. Medical Engineering and Informatics, 2010, 2, 52-71

Inderscience Publishers

Related Telemedicine Articles from Brightsurf:

Changes in outpatient care delivery, telemedicine during COVID-19 pandemic
To understand how telemedicine compensated for declining outpatient volume and geographic variation in changing patterns of outpatient care, researchers examined telemedicine and in-person outpatient visits in 2020 among a national sample of 16.7 million people with commercial or Medicare Advantage insurance.

Show rates for asthma visits during COVID-19 increased thanks to telemedicine
A new study being presented at this year's virtual ACAAI Annual Scientific Meeting reveals that ''show rates'' for children with asthma - how often parents brought their kids to an appointment rather than being a ''no show'' - increased with the use of telemedicine during four months of the pandemic.

From 84 days to 5 hours: Telemedicine reduces dermatology consult time
Allowing primary care doctors to take photos and send them to dermatologists improved access to specialty care.

Health care use drops during pandemic; switch to telemedicine creates disparities
One of the first studies to quantify the cuts in elective medical care experienced in March and April found that the number of mammograms and colonoscopies dropped by more than 65% during the period.

Utilizing telemedicine in the ER can reduce wait times and patient length of stay
Telemedicine has become more common given the current global pandemic.

Telemedicine saves chronic pain patients time and money
Patients who saw a pain medicine specialist via telemedicine saved time and money and were highly satisfied with their experience, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2020 annual meeting.

Interventions stem antibiotic prescribing rates in telemedicine
Two different interventions both worked to significantly reduce the rate of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions made by physicians in a telemedicine practice, a new study led by Children's National Hospital researchers shows.

Telemedicine may well outlast the pandemic, say mental health care staff
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about rapid innovation in mental health care, and the move to telemedicine is likely here to stay to at least some degree, but new research led by UCL and King's College London cautions that serious barriers still need to be overcome.

Assessing telemedicine unreadiness among older adults during COVID-19 pandemic
This study uses 2018 data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study to assess how common it is for older adults in the United States to be unprepared to access video or telephone telemedicine because of disability or inexperience with technology.

Telemedicine can help safety net providers expand access to medical specialists
The use of telemedicine has grown rapidly during the coronavirus pandemic, but it's unclear whether those gains will ge permanent.

Read More: Telemedicine News and Telemedicine Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.