Wireless Sensor Network
Technology for Clinical Monitoring
Department of Computer
Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, Washington University
Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Washington University
Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, Washington University
Bailey, Yixin Chen, Marin Kollef, Chenyang
PhD Students: Rahav Dor, Bo Li
Alumni: Chris Brooks, Octav Chipara, Greg Hackmann, Yi Mao, Catalin Roman, Zhicheng Yang
Collaborator: Roger Chamberlain
detection and intervention are essential for preventing clinical
deterioration in patients. We are developing a two-tiered
clinical warning system designed to identify the signs of clinical
deterioration and provide early warning of serious clinical events at
general hospital units. The ﬁrst tier of the system automatically
identiﬁes patients at risk of clinical deterioration from existing
electronic medical record databases. The second tier performs
real-time clinical event detection based on vital sign data collected
from on-body wireless sensors attached to those high-risk
patients. Wireless sensor networks play an important role in
clinical warning by collecting real-time vital signs for clinical
decision support. We have developed and deployed a large-scale
wireless clinical monitoring system that encompasses portable wireless
pulse oximeters, a wireless relay network spanning multiple hospital
ﬂoors, and integration with electronic medical record databases.
Our system has been deployed over a 14-month clinical trial in six
hospital wards of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.
Our experiences show the feasibility of achieving reliable vital sign
collection using a wireless sensor network integrated with hospital IT
infrastructure and procedures. We also identify and overcome
technical and non-technical elements that pose challenges in a
real-world hospital environment and provide guidelines for successful
and eﬃcient deployment of similar systems. The convergence of
wireless sensors, mobile computing, data mining and electronic medical
record in clinical warning systems will lead to enhanced quality of
care for patients in hospitals as well as outpatients in their everyday
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Hospital Unit, ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems
(SenSys'10), November 2010.
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The project described was supported by Award Number UL1RR024992
from the National Center For Research Resources and BJH Foundation. The content is solely
the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent
the official views of the National Center for Research Resources or the
National Institutes of Health.