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24 January 2007 PR 07/09

Loughborough University takes mobile phone health monitoring to India

Loughborough University engineers have forged a partnership with experts in India to develop their unique mobile phone health monitoring system.
The device, which was first unveiled in 2005, uses a mobile phone to transmit a person’s vital signs, including the complex electrocardiogram (ECG) heart signal, to a hospital or clinic anywhere in the world.

Created by Professor Bryan Woodward and Dr Fadlee Rasid from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, the system enables a doctor to observe remotely up to four different medical signals from a freely moving patient. Signals that can be transmitted include the ECG, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and blood glucose level.

Now Professor Woodward has been awarded a grant by the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), enabling him to join forces with experts in India on the project. Working with the Indian Insitute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi), the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University and London’s Kingston University, he is hoping to miniaturise the system, designing ‘smart’ sensors and mini-processors that are small enough to be carried by patients and able to acquire biomedical data from them. The network of sensors will be linked via a modem to mobile networks and the internet, and to a hospital computer. The device would then be used by doctors to remotely monitor patients suffering from chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, which affect millions of people across the world.

“Such a ‘Mobile Disease Management System’ is long overdue,” says Professor Woodward. “Especially in view of the proliferation of applications in mobile data communications. It is also achievable in a three-year time frame and should provide a step-change in improving the quality of life of patients needing expert diagnoses, and for those with pre-diagnosed conditions or undergoing post-operative care.

“In the UK, the project will allow a more patient-driven health service, as promoted by the Government to improve the efficiency of health care delivery. In India, the project will link clinics and regional hospitals in remote areas to centres of excellence. As in the UK, the Indian Government is encouraging the integration of new and existing networks, much needed because of a large population spread over a vast area.

“I am delighted to have gained the support of the UKIERI to take this life-enhancing research to the next level – and tap in to the knowledge of experts in India.”

Clinical trials of the system will take place in the UK and India over the next three years.

ENDS

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Notes to editors

  1. The project will be managed by Loughborough University, which with IIT Delhi will form a new mobile- health partnership ‘hub’. Both partners have extensive academic, medical and industrial partners. In the UK, the ‘satellite’ will be Kingston University, with its spin-out company H2M World that is developing a ‘Universal Intelligent Decision Support System’. In India, the satellites will be the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which has experience of country-wide clinical trials, and Aligarh Muslim University, which will play a key role in medical signal processing.
  2. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough in the top five among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

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