A wireless physiological monitoring system designed by the Department of
Biomedical Engineering (BME) of National Cheng Kung University (NCKU),
southern Taiwan, has proved to increase medical efficiency and safety
for dialysis patients.
BME was invited by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to exhibit three of
their new inventions -- the "i-Transport" carrier, the "Wireless
Physiological Monitoring System for Hemodialysis" and the "Smart
Tourniquet," which have made revolutionary impact on the biomedical
field -- at a recent forum.
The "wireless physiological monitoring system for hemodialysis" was
developed by NCKU BME Professor Tain-Song Chen. It helps dialysis
centers monitor the physiological status of dialysis patients.
Besides providing warning signal during emergency in the hemodialysis
process, the system also impoves the safety level of the dialysis
process because it allows one nurse to simultaneously monitor
physiological parameters of 50 patients, thus helping to solve the
problem of shortage of nursing staff, according to Dr. Chen.
He said that in the current dialysis process at dialysis centers, nurses
and medical staff have to measure and record patients' blood pressure
every 30 minutes in order to monitor their physiological status.
Usually, quite a number of dialysis patients would be receiving dialysis
treatment at the same time. Traditional steps to measure blood pressure
of dialysis patients include tying the cuff, inflating it, deflating it
and recording blood pressure - a process that usually takes two to three
Hence, one medical staff or nurse can only observe the blood pressure of
approximately 10 to 15 patients provided the medical worker does not
rest the whole working day. However, the new system enables one nurse to
simultaneously monitor and observe blood pressure of 50 or more dialysis
patients, said Chen.
This system uses Zigbee to set up a wireless transmission system. The
reasons for using ZigBee, Chen said, are its low electricity
consumption, low cost, its ability to support large amount of network
nodes and different network topologies as well as its low complexity,
high speed, high reliability, and high safety level.
By using ZigBee's strengths to design a wireless blood pressure
measurement system, the device can simultaneously measure and monitor
the blood pressure of several dialysis patients with high measurement
accuracy, according to Chen.
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