Ubiquitous Physiological Monitoring: Issues and Application


Emil Jovanov

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department University of Alabama in Huntsville


Traditionally, portable physiological monitors have been used only to perform data acquisition. Typical examples are holter monitors that are routinely used for ECG and EEG monitoring. Recent developments of wireless and mobile technology have laid a foundation for the new generation of ubiquitous physiological monitors that can be used during everyday activities, providing real-time feedback to the user, either as a warning of impending medical emergency or as a monitoring aid during exercise. Intelligent monitors can significantly decrease the number of hospitalizations and nursing visits by acting as a personal “guardian angel” which can warn the user of a medical emergency or contact a specialized medical response service. The most recent step in patient mobility and unobstructed use came with the introduction of intelligent, wireless, and implanted sensors.

We present system design issues and possible applications in this new and exciting field that include medical, environmental and battlefield monitoring, condition-based maintenance of industrial facilities, pervasive computing, affective computing, estimation of the cognitive load, etc. As a case study we present ECG processing in the hierarchically organized personal area network of wireless physiological sensors developed at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Dr. Emil Jovanov is an Associate Professor at Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville. He received the Dipl. Ing., MSc, and PhD degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Belgrade. Previously, he had been working as a Research Scientist at the “Mihajlo Pupin” Institute in Belgrade and teaching at the University of Belgrade. His research interests include system architecture, biomedical signal processing, multimodal user interfaces, parallel and embedded processing. His most important research projects include a body area network of wireless intelligent sensors, distributed wireless stress monitors, VRML based 3D Visualization and Sonification Environment for biomedical signals, and a family of portable physiological monitoring.

Please see his web site for further information: http://www.ece.uah.edu/~jovanov/