An IoT Based Architecture for Enhancing the Effectiveness of Prototype Medical Instruments Applied to Neurodegenerative Disease Diagnosis

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Mar 31;19(7):1564. doi: 10.3390/s19071564.


Human errors are probably the most critical cause of the large amount of medical accidents. Medical cyber-physical systems (MCPS) have been suggested as a possible approach for detecting and limiting the impact of errors and wrong procedures. However, during the initial development phase of medical instruments, regular MCPS systems are not a viable approach, because of the high costs of repeating complex validation procedures, due to modifications of the prototype instrument. In this work, a communication architecture, inspired by recent Internet of Things (IoT) advances, is proposed for connecting prototype instruments to the cloud, to allow direct and real-time interaction between developers and instrument operators. Without loss of generality, a real-world use case is addressed, dealing with the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for neurodegenerative disease diagnosis. The proposed infrastructure leverages on a message-oriented middleware, complemented by historical database for further data processing. Two of the most diffused protocols for cloud data exchange (MQTT and AMQP) have been investigated. The experimental setup has been focused on the real-time performance, which are the most challenging requirements. Time-related metrics confirm the feasibility of the proposed approach, resulting in an end-to-end delay on the order of few tens of milliseconds for local networks and up to few hundreds of milliseconds for geographical scale networks.

Keywords: AMQP; MQTT; cloud services; medical CPS; publisher/subscriber.

MeSH terms

  • Cloud Computing
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Telemetry
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods*
  • User-Computer Interface