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Belgian tech firms improve health monitoring

Posted: 22 Aug 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:medical diagnosis? health monitoring system? wireless sensor?

IMEC and i.Know NV have developed on a technology that provides real-time relevant medical data extraction.

Work done at the Holst Centre, in the Netherlands has enabled IMEC to broaden the functionality and scope of its wireless health monitoring technology by linking it to i.Know's 'knowledge streaming' concept.

Knowledge streaming encompasses the combination of extracting relevant data from abstract signals, assigning an objective interpretation to it and distributing it when necessary, all of this at real time on an incoming signal.

Availability and interpretation of personal medical data is playing an increasingly crucial role. Within its Human++ research program at Holst Centre, IMEC already focuses on building blocks for miniaturized wireless sensor nodes allowing comfortable and continuous measurement of body parameters.

The collaboration with i.Know has enabled the Human++ program to develop technologies that allow fast and accurate interpretation of the collected data.

The technology developed by IMEC and i.Know is based on ambulatory cardiac monitoring (ECG). Based upon an incoming stream of ECG signals, relevant features are extracted and associated with an objective interpretation. For example the heart rhythm and the shape of an ECG peak allow the system to detect abnormal physiological events. As a consequence, a doctor or a call centre can be alerted to diagnose the status of the monitored patient.

IMEC and i.Know will work to enhance the system by associating it with external databases such as electronic patient records and PubMed. This will allow the detection of abnormal events to be enriched with contextual data (such as the medication history of the patient).

Future research also targets the integration of data from multiple sensors such as EEG, EMG, physical activity monitoring and temperature, allowing more precise interpretations.

- Colin Holland
EE Times Europe

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