Wireless Networks for Medical Applications

Abstract

With recent developments in the wireless networks field, new and innovative medical applications based on this technology are being developed in the research as well as commercial sectors. This trend has just started and we predict wireless networks are going to become an integral part of medical solutions due to its benefits in cutting down healthcare costs and increasing accessibility for patients as well as healthcare professionals. we give some background on applications of wireless networks in the medical field and discuss the issues and challenges. We have also tried to identify some of the standards in use. Another contribution due to this paper is the identification of innovative medical applications of wireless networks developed or currently being developed in the research and business sectors. In the end we also talk about the future trends in this field.

Introduction

Wireless networks technology has been consistently improving with time and increasingly finding its way into all aspects of our daily lives. Medical applications is a field where technologies such as Wireless Networking have a promising future. In the healthcare field, access and cost saving are two of the hottest issues these days. Wireless Technologies have something to contribute towards helping with both of these issues.


The healthcare system is continuously getting more complex around the world but especially in the United States. Up to 98,000 patients die each year as a result of preventable medical errors. These are errors that could have been avoided.

The sad story is that physicians and clinicians most of the time provide patient care without knowing history of prescriptions and medical procedures, resulting both wasteful duplication and sketch y clinical decisions that do not take into account critical data related to patient health. Wireless technology offers tools that can help with such situations. These tools can help give caregivers real-time access to accurate patient data, clinical histories, treatments, medications, tests, lab results, insurance information and etc.

Wireless Networks for Medical Applications

Due to advances in the wireless networks field, new and innovative applications are being thought of in medical as well as healthcare field. In the medical field applications ranging from equipment management to patient management are being developed. Efficiency among hospital staff is increased by using some of these newly available applications and tools. In the healthcare field, issues such as long-term patient care, support for elderly people and smart homes are being discussed in the realm of wireless networks. There is also research being done on creating teletrauma systems using the wireless channel.

This will potentially allow trauma specialist to be virtually on patients bed sides while they are being moved to the trauma center. In the near future homes can be designed that take care of patients or people with disabilities without the presence of a healthcare provider. A patient who is located remotely can be cared for remotely by communicating his/her status in realtime to caregivers. Another issue that concerns the healthcare field is the very large number of expensive medical devices that are incompatible with each other. Tedious routines are involved in translating results from one machine to another. With Wireless Technology this compatibility issue can be reduced. 

Conclusion

Wireless networks for Medical Applications is becoming a hot topic in the industry. With its potential uses in the medical and home healthcare fields, wireless networks have an important contribution in improving lives of patients. Besides bringing comfort to patients, there are large commercial benefits in the area of reducing costs and improving equipment and patient management. In this paper, we discussed the benefits of using wireless networks for medical applications.