Remote monitoring system helps diagnose pneumonia, other conditions weeks earlier

The University of Missouri is expanding its remote monitoring system, following findings that the system can improve early detection of diseases such as pneumonia, according to a story in InformationWeek.

Marilyn Rantz, nursing professor at MU's Sinclair School of Nursing says embedding sensors in the patients home to monitor pulse, respiration, and even restlessness or sleeplessness at night are the key to detecting disease early. Often subtle signs -- more frequent waking at night, or elevated pulse--can alert clinicians to a problem anywhere from 10 to almost a full month before the patient or his caregiver might realize there is a problem, she says.

"What we have been able to discover are new pieces of information from the environmentally embedded sensors that can indicate when people are having functional decline and particularly when they are getting sick," Rantz tells InformationWeek.

MU researchers have been working on a variety of other mobile health initiatives as well. Just a month ago, we reported on a program that had researchers attempting to use smartphone-captured pictures of a patients tongue to diagnose disease.

Another research team is studying whether Microsoft's Kinect motion-sensing technology can be used to predict (and hopefully prevent) falls at home.

To learn more:
- read the InformationWeek story.