Sensor systems that collect medical information by monitoring the patient’s health represent a rapidly growing area. A series of new products are being introduced, such as devices that continuously monitor the patient’s blood pressure and glucose levels.
But few of these products are integrated with health care systems today. The first of the three research groups in TTL will focus on making sensors mor reliable, easier to use and able to handle a variety of medical tasks. For example, can we make them monitor cholesterol levels and heart rates at once? Such sensor systems must be comfortable to wear. Who wants to go around carrying something the size of a brick on their wrist? Functional design is an important part of this research.
These sensor systems will produce large volumes of data. We will develop technologies that can collect all this information and enable computers to run patient diagnostics. This is the focus of the second research group. Extended decision support also includes the development of early warning systems that can detect starting epidemics, based on incoming data from patient sensors in a given area. This can enable health personnel and authorities to react faster to stop the spreading of an infectious disease.
Thirdly, a key component for maximizing the positive effects of new technologies is to reorganize the health services so that the technology and health services complement each other. But then we have to examine how patients and health personnel communicate with each other, and how this might be different in changing circumstances. Do patients give the same information to the doctor in an email as they do face to face?
Other important questions will be how we can use existing technologies effectively, such as email as well as text and video messaging. What standards do we have to set for the next generation of such systems for medical use?
Read more about the research activities within these three areas