The e-health monitoring system with wireless sensor network is used for patient telemonitoring and telemedicine. A 2012 article titled ‘In-home health monitoring to leap six-fold by 2017’ illustrated that Wireless remote monitoring devices will be used by more than 1.8 million people worldwide in the next four years. Of the billions of dollars spent on health care each year, 75% - 80% of it accountsfor patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma and Alzheimer’s disease. Over a decade, healthcare industry has taken a measured approach pertaining tointegrationof information technology (IT). Recent federal legislation and emerging trends, however, are changing the landscape and driving the need to accelerate the adoption of health IT in healthcare especially in medical devices.
Among wireless health products wearable medical devices is expected to be the fastest growing segment. Information delivered by modern wearable medical devices is easy to interpret and hence popularity is expected to increase rapidly within non-medical personnel. With these devices, peoplecan quickly modify their lifestyle to better improve their physical stature. Devices that measure temperature, heart rate and other parameters can be of paramount importance while determining physical fitness of a person.
Over 65% of technologies are wrist held devices shaped like watches and the rest are wearable on other areas of the body such as arms, torso and waist. Along with the aesthetics, several other features for durability of the device are included such as waterproofing and weatherproofing. The latest in developments is telecommunication, wireless connectivity and improved user interface. The advent of smartphones has resulted in multi-fold increase of growth in applications that can now extend to storage and retrieval of history for the individual for long term mapping and improvement of fitness.
Some of the major factors driving this market are the decreasing costs of electronics that has now made these devices available to middle and even low income groups over the world, and increased use of internet globally. According to the World Bank, number of internet users per 100 people increased from 15.8 in 2005 to 38.1 in 2013. The global wireless health market by products encompasses ECG monitors, insulin monitors, neuromonitors such as EEG and EMG devices.
There are several devices which have in-build capability to diagnose, detect and send patient records to a centralized servers which can be easily accessed by healthcare providers. Advantages of wireless health
devices encompasses patient comfort, accurate detection and analysis, access to stored patient data for a considerable longer period of time i.e. weekly or monthly. Recently Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University have demonstrated stick-on patches which can be used on a daily basis to monitor patient’s ECG. Additionally, the patient record can be easily accessed through a cell phone or computer wirelessly.