Wireless sensing systems in clinical environments: improving the efficiency of the patient monitoring process

IEEE Eng Med Biol Mag. 2010 Mar-Apr;29(2):103-9. doi: 10.1109/MEMB.2009.935713.


Multiple studies suggest that the level of patient care may decline in the future because of a larger aging population and medical staff shortages. Wireless sensing systems that automate some of the patient monitoring tasks can potentially improve the efficiency of patient workflows, but their efficacy in clinical settings is an open question. This article examines the potential of wireless sensor network (WSN) technologies to improve the efficiency of the patient-monitoring process in clinical environments. MEDiSN, a WSN designed to continuously monitor the vital signs of ambulatory patients, is designed. The usefulness of MEDiSN is validated with test bed experiments and results from a pilot study performed at the Emergency Department, Johns Hopkins Hospital. Promising results indicate that MEDiSN can tolerate high degrees of human mobility, is well received by patients and staff members, and performs well in real clinical environments.

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Emergency Medicine / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Maryland
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation*
  • Telemetry / instrumentation*
  • Transducers*
  • Wireless Technology*