Wireless medical sensor networks in emergency response: Implementation and pilot results

Tia Gao, Christopher Pesto, Leo Selavo, Yin Chen, Jeong Gil Ko, Jong Hyun Lim, Andreas Terzis, Andrew Watt, James Jeng, Bor Rong Chen, Konrad Lorincz, Matt Welsh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

164 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This project demonstrates the feasibility of using cost-effective, flexible, and scalable sensor networks to address critical bottlenecks of the emergency response process. For years, emergency medical service providers conducted patient care by manually measuring vital signs, documenting assessments on paper, and communicating over handheld radios. When disasters occurred, the large numbers of casualties quickly and easily overwhelmed the responders. Collaboration with EMS and hospitals in the Baltimore Washington Metropolitan region prompted us to develop miTag (medical information tag), a cost-effective wireless sensor platform that automatically track patients throughout each step of the disaster response process, from disaster scenes, to ambulances, to hospitals. The miTag is a highly extensible platform that supports a variety of sensor add-ons - GPS, pulse oximetry, blood pressure, temperature, ECG - and relays data over a self-organizing wireless mesh network. Scalability is the distinguishing characteristic of miTag: its wireless network scales across a wide range of network densities, from sparse hospital network deployments to very densely populated mass casualty sites. The miTag system is out-of-the-box operational and includes the following key technologies: 1) cost-effective sensor hardware, 2) self-organizing wireless network and 3) scalable server software that analyzes sensor data and delivers real-time updates to handheld devices and web portals. The system has evolved through multiple iterations of development and pilot deployments to become an effective patient monitoring solution. A pilot conducted with the Department of Homeland Security indicates miTags can increase the patient care capacity of responders in the field A pilot at Washington Hospital showed miTags are capable of reliably transmitting data inside radio-interference-rich critical care settings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2008 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST'08
Pages187-192
Number of pages6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sep 5
Event2008 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST'08 - Waltham, MA, United States
Duration: 2008 May 122008 May 13

Publication series

Name2008 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST'08

Conference

Conference2008 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST'08
CountryUnited States
CityWaltham, MA
Period08/5/1208/5/13

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Law

Cite this

Gao, T., Pesto, C., Selavo, L., Chen, Y., Ko, J. G., Lim, J. H., Terzis, A., Watt, A., Jeng, J., Chen, B. R., Lorincz, K., & Welsh, M. (2008). Wireless medical sensor networks in emergency response: Implementation and pilot results. In 2008 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST'08 (pp. 187-192). [4534447] (2008 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, HST'08). https://doi.org/10.1109/THS.2008.4534447