E-Health Insider is reporting yet another remote monitoring research project. Dr Alison Marshall at the Keyworth Institute of the University of Leeds is starting the Mobile Self Management of Health
project. The project appears to be focused on the typical patient worn
sensors wirelessly connected to a gateway device (in this case cell
phones are the target device) and a server side application for data
management. The project is focused on facilitating patient self
management of chronic disease.

A prototype phone will be tested on research volunteers next month
to improve its design and functionality, before holding a bigger trial
next year.

The prototype systems will monitor blood pressure, blood oxygen
levels, heart rate and will also be used for nutrition and exercise
monitoring. Existing hardware is being used, with 'smartphones'
connecting via Bluetooth to pulse oximeters or blood pressure monitors
and using manual entry for nutrition diaries.

What's not clear from the story is which areas of the total remote
monitoring solution will be the focus of the project's research. Some
of the hurdles to be overcome include:

  • Smaller and more power efficient sensors
  • Interoperability between various sensors (and vendors), gateway devices and server applications
  • User interface research for a consumer friendly usability
  • Business models for deployment and continued service (not so big an issue in the UK with their single payor system)
  • Patient psycology around compliance and behavior change (a huge issue that needs more attention)

Commercial and academic projects of this type are not uncommon. And
there is certainly much work to be done before an affordable and
effective self management solution is available.

Pictured right is a prototype remote monitor.