Healthcare PANs: Personal Area Networks for trauma care and home care

Valerie M. Jones, Richard G.A. Bults, D. Konstantas, P.A.M. Vierhout

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    The first hour following the trauma is of crucial importance in trauma care. The sooner treatment begins, the better the ultimate outcome for the patient. Generally the initial treatment is handled by paramedical personnel arriving at the site of the accident with an ambulance. There is evidence to show that if the expertise of the on-site paramedic team can be supported by immediate and continuous access to and communication with the expert medical team at the hospital, patient outcomes can be improved. After care also influences the ultimate recovery of the patient. After-treatment follow up often occurs in-hospital in spite of the fact that care at home can offer more advantages and can accelerate recovery. Based on emerging and future wireless communication technologies, in a previous paper [1] we presented an initial vision of two future healthcare settings, supported by applications which we call Virtual Trauma Team and Virtual Homecare Team. The Virtual Trauma Team application involves high quality wireless multimedia communications between ambulance paramedics and the hospital facilitated by paramedic Body Area Networks (BANs) [2] and an ambulance-based Vehicle Area Network (VAN). The VAN supports bi-directional streaming audio and video communication between the ambulance and the hospital even when moving at speed. The clinical motivation for Virtual Trauma Team is to increase survival rates in trauma care. The Virtual Homecare Team application enables homecare coordinated by home nursing services and supported by the patient's PAN which consists of a patient BAN in combination with an ambient intelligent home environment. The homecare PAN provides intelligent monitoring and support functions and the possibility to ad hoc network to the visiting health professionals’ own BANs as well as high quality multimedia communication links to remote members of the virtual team. The motivation for Virtual Homecare Team is to improve quality of life and independence for patients by supporting care at home; the economic motivation is to replace expensive hospital-based care with homecare by virtual teams using wireless technology to support the patient and the carers. In this paper we develop the vision further and focus in particular on the concepts of personal and body area networks.
    Original languageUndefined
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    Event4th International Symposium on Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications 2001 - Aalborg, Denmark
    Duration: 9 Sept 200112 Sept 2001
    Conference number: 4


    Conference4th International Symposium on Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications 2001
    Abbreviated titleWPMC 2001


    • EWI-8703
    • IR-66759

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