Multiple studies suggest that the level of patient care may decline in the future because of a larger aging population and medical staff shortages. Wireless sensing systems that automate some of the patient monitoring tasks can potentially improve the efficiency of patient workflows, but their efficacy in clinical settings is an open question. In this article, we introduce the challenges that such wireless sensing systems must overcome and provide insights on the techniques and features that system designers should consider for successful deployments in clinical settings. We do so through MEDiSN, a wireless sensor network (WSN) designed to continuously monitor the vital signs of ambulatory patients. We validate the usefulness of MEDiSN with test bed experiments and results from a pilot study performed at the Emergency Department, Johns Hopkins Hospital. Promising results indicate that MEDiSN can tolerate high degrees of human mobility, is well received by patients and staff members, and performs well in real clinical environments. We leverage our experience from this hospital pilot study to outline outstanding issues and argue about the steps necessary to bring wireless sensing applications to commercial use.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering