Sensor-based health systems can often become difficult to use, extend and sustain. The authors propose a framework for designing sensor-based health monitoring systems aiming to provide extensible and usable monitoring services in the scope of pervasive patient care. The authors' approach relies on a distributed system for monitoring the patient health status anytime-anywhere and detecting potential health complications, for which healthcare professionals and patients are notified accordingly. Portable or wearable sensing devices measure the patient's physiological parameters, a smart mobile device collects and analyses the sensor data, a Medical Center system receives notifications on the detected health condition, and a Health Professional Platform is used by formal caregivers in order to review the patient condition and configure monitoring schemas. A Service-oriented architecture is utilised to provide extensible functional components and interoperable interactions among the diversified system components. The framework was applied within the REMOTE ambient-assisted living project in which a prototype system was developed, utilising Bluetooth to communicate with the sensors and Web services for data exchange. A scenario of using the REMOTE system and preliminary usability results show the applicability, usefulness and virtue of our approach.
Keywords: Bluetooth; Health Professional Platform; Medical Center system; REMOTE ambient-assisted living project; Web services; data exchange; distributed system; electronic data interchange; mobile handsets; patient care; patient monitoring; pervasive patient care; portable instruments; portable sensing devices; sensor-based health monitoring systems; service-oriented architecture; smart mobile device; smart phones; telemedicine; wearable sensing devices.