When it comes to technology in healthcare, speed is everything. If a new technology slows doctors down, watch how fast they revert to their old ways. So there's some promising news out of India in the world of mobile healthcare: A new telemedicine system, based on a modification to the short-range Bluetooth wireless standard, can transfer data from patient monitors to nearby mobile devices four times faster than conventional Bluetooth connections, and with fewer intermittent connectivity losses.
Two academic researchers in Coimbatore, India, have developed a dedicated, embedded system using Bluetooth to send patient data from monitoring devices to an enterprise network, then on to the caregiver's mobile device, eliminating the problem of maintaining a constant connection between devices and either the Internet or cellular network. They have tested the system by transferring CT scans to physician PDAs, and found that they can transfer 1.5-megabyte DICOM images in 120 seconds, much faster than the 400 seconds it would take on a conventional Bluetooth connection. That still may not be fast enough to mollify the "I need it now" types, but it's quite an improvement.
For more information about this new application of Bluetooth:
- have a look at this ScienceDaily story