Using off-the-shelf medical devices for biomedical signal monitoring in a telemedicine system for emergency medical services.

IEEE journal of biomedical and health informatics

PubMedID: 25312967

Thelen S, Czaplik M, Meisen P, Schilberg D, Jeschke S. Using off-the-shelf medical devices for biomedical signal monitoring in a telemedicine system for emergency medical services. IEEE J Biomed Health Inform. 2015;19(1):117-23.
In order to study new methods of telemedicine usage in the context of emergency medical services, researchers need to prototype integrated telemedicine systems. To conduct a one-year trial phase-intended to study a new application of telemedicine in German emergency medical services-we used off-the-shelf medical devices and software to realize real-time patient monitoring within an integrated telemedicine system prototype. We demonstrate its feasibility by presenting the integrated real-time patient monitoring solution, by studying signal delay and transmission robustness regarding changing communication channel characteristics, and by evaluating issues reported by the physicians during the trial phase. Where standards like HL7 and the IEEE 11073 family are intended to enable interoperability of product grade medical devices, we show that research prototypes benefit from the use of web technologies and simple device interfaces, as they simplify product development for a manufacturer and ease integration efforts for research teams. Embracing this approach for the development of new medical devices eases the constraint to use off-the-shelf products for research trials investigating innovative use of telemedicine.