Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 5–11 | Cite as

Feedback control for clinicians

  • Guy A. DumontEmail author
Original Research


Although feedback control and automation has revolutionized many fields of human activity, it has yet to have a significant impact on healthcare, particularly when a patient is in the loop. Although there have been a number of studies concerned with closed-loop control of anesthesia, they have yet to have an impact on clinical practice. For such systems to be successful, engineers and clinicians have to work hand in hand, for this they have to have a basic understanding of each other’s fields. The goal of this paper is to introduce clinicians to basic concepts in control engineering, with an emphasis on the properties of feedback control. Concepts such as modelling for control, feedback and uncertainty, robustness, feedback controller such as proportional-integral-derivative control, predictive control and adaptive control are briefly reviewed. Finally we discuss the safety issues around closed-loop control and discuss ways by which safe control can be guaranteed.


Feedback Closed-loop control Anesthesia TCI Safe control Robustness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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