X-Message-Number: 13556
From: Eugene Leitl <>
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 00:51:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Wireless On-Patient Interface for Health Monitoring



Monitoring an astronaut's basic health parameters -- such as body
temperature, blood pressure, ECG, and blood gases -- typically
requires a variety of sensors. Additional sensors can be involved when
human and animal experiments are conducted on the Space Shuttle or
Space Station. EEG electrodes may be necessary to look at brain
activity, calcium sensors to study bone loss, or EMG electrodes to
investigate muscle performance.

Sensors 2000! has developed an easy-to-implement wireless biotelemetry
system -- called the Wireless On-Patient Interface for Health
Monitoring (WOPI) -- that can non-intrusively measure the health
parameters of humans and animals in space. The device's sensors, which
are connected to miniature transceiver modules, are implanted,
ingested, or attached to the body with Band-Aids. Sensors communicate
with a belt-worn device that retransmits or records the data and also
sends basic commands to each sensor. The device also displays a quick
status of all physiological and biological parameters.

Technical Description

The different sensors used in the WOPI communicate with the monitoring
device at different frequencies. The monitoring device is modular and
can be configured to meet the users demands. Several transceiver input
modules can be plugged into a core module. Each transceiver module
transmits commands to and receives data from a particular sensor. The
core module controls the operation of each transceiver and prepares
the received data for the output module, which can be a display, a
data logger, or a re-transmitter that relays the data to a remote base

Each wireless sensor consists of a transducer (thermistor, electrode,
and biosensor), a signal conditioner (preamplifier), and a transceiver
module (command receiver and data transmitter).  These components can
either be mounted on a Band-Aid for non-invasive measurements or put
in pill-shaped shells for ingestable or implantable applications. For
larger and more complex sensors (for instance a pulse oximeter), the
signal conditioner and transceiver can be worn on a wrist band.

The system can be expanded to include wireless actuators as well, for
instance infusion pumps or other drug delivery systems.


The WOPI could be integrated into a spacesuit and provide astronaut
with information about their health via a helmet display. This "smart
spacesuit" could transmit the information to other astronauts inside
the Shuttle or Space Station and generate medical alerts when
necessary. Biotelemetry experiments that involve group-housed animals
could also benefit from the technology. Sensors could be implanted in
research animals and the receiver/controller could be integrated into
the animal housing facility, saving space.

Physicians could use the system to observe their patients remotely and
get continuous access to patient health data. This type of home
monitoring means patients could be released from hospitals
earlier. The technology also has potential applications in athletics
and emergency-response activities.

For more information on this product contact Mike Skidmore

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