Mobile wireless monitoring system for prehospital emergency care
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Latest achievement technologies allow engineers to develop medical systems that medical doctors in the health care system could not imagine years ago. The development of signal theory, intelligent systems, biophysics and extensive collaboration between science and technology researchers and medical professionals, open up the potential for preventive, real-time monitoring of patients. With the recent developments of new methods in medicine, it is also possible to predict the trends of the disease development as well the systemic support in diagnose setting. Within the framework of the needs to track the patient health parameters in the hospital environment or in the case of road accidents, the researchers had to integrate the knowledge and experiences of medical specialists in emergency medicine who have participated in the development of a mobile wireless monitoring system designed for real-time monitoring of victim vital parameters. Emergency medicine responders are first point of care for trauma victim providing prehospital care, including triage and treatment at the scene of incident and transport from the scene to the hospital. Continuous monitoring of life functions allows immediate detection of a deterioration in health status and helps out in carrying out principle of continuous e-triage. In this study, a mobile wireless monitoring system for measuring and recording the vital parameters of the patient was presented and evaluated. Based on the measured values, the system is able to make triage and assign treatment priority for the patient. The system also provides the opportunity to take a picture of the injury, mark the injured body parts, calculate Glasgow Coma Score, or insert/record the medication given to the patient. Evaluation of the system was made using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). In particular we measured: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, attitude, intention to use, patient status and environmental status.
A functional prototype of a developed wireless sensor-based system was installed at the emergency medical (EM) department, and presented to the participants of this study. Thirty participants, paramedics and doctors from the emergency department participated in the study. Two scenarios common for the prehospital emergency routines were considered for the evaluation. Participants were asked to answer the questions referred to these scenarios by rating each of the items on a 5-point Likert scale.
Path coefficients between each measured variable were calculated. All coefficients were positive, but the statistically significant were only the following: patient status and perceive usefulness (β = 0.284, t = 2.097), environment (both urban a nd rural) and perceive usefulness (β = 0.247, t = 2.570; β = 0.329, t = 2.083, respectively), and perceive usefulness and behavioral intention (β = 0.621 t = 7.269). The variance of intention is 47.9%.
The study results show that the proposed system is well accepted by the EM personnel and can be used as a complementary system in EM department for continuous monitoring of patients’ vital signs.
KeywordsWireless sensors Vital signs monitoring e-Triage TAM model Prehospital treatment
This research is supported by SIARS, NATO multi-year SPS Project NATO.EAP.SFPP 984753.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.
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