Recently I presented a paper titled – Robustness of the mHealthSurvey Midlet for a Real-Time Biosurveillance program at the 2010 International Symposium on Medical Informatics and Communications Technology – in Taipei, Taiwan. The main focus was on mobile computing; especially surrounding Body Area Networks (BAN) that is in the working mills of the IEEE 802 standardization process under the auspices of Task Group 6.
The present day challenges that countries like Taiwan and Japan face, also propagating in to other Asian countries, are increase in chronic illnesses, aging population, and need for convenience. Within this frame, researchers are realizing the growing need for remote sensing and maintenance of health; such remote maintenance ICT based services would reduce patient admissions (or inward patients), which countries like India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, etc, fully subsidize and can be drastically reduced.
The mHealthSurvey has proven the capability to transport digitized data compressed to ~ 2KB over GPRS-10 and higher networks in rural India and Sri Lanka. The mHealthSurvey data capacity which is far less than the BAN requirement of 10Mbps for low power devices. Unfortunately this Ultra-wide-band cannot transport data long distances (i.e. BAN range is 2 meters – the length from tip to tip when arms are extended laterally way from body). Therefore, BAN uses mobiles phones as an inter-mediator to take care of the, information transport, long hauls; i.e. from the subject (human) to the healthcare service providers located several kilometers away.