Objectives: The aim of this research work is the development of a low-cost system for telemedicine based on the DVB-T technology. The diffusion of DVB-T standard and the low cost of DVB-T set-top boxes bring the vision of a capillary distribution of tele-home care monitoring systems with easy-to-use patient's interface.
Methods: Exploiting the potentiality of the DVB-T set-top box, we transformed it into an "on-demand tele-home care interface". The Xlet we developed is able to govern the functionality of an external microcontroller-based unit for the acquisition of the bio-signals of interest. The uplink connection is used to send the exam results to a remote care center.
Results: The Xlet providing the patient interface on the set-top box is uploaded by a DVB-T broadcaster without any intervention in the patient's home. A prototypal low-cost base station for the acquisition of the patient's signals (1-lead ECG) has been developed. It is able to be connected to the set-top box via an infrared link. A smart-card-based system is in charge for the customization of the Xlet for every patient.
Conclusions: The proposed system, based on a currently widespread infrastructure, is able to allow the patients monitoring from home without any installation procedure. Even untrained (or elderly) people can easily use such system due to their practice with the basic DVB-T home-entertainment equipments.