Special Issue "Low-Cost Telemedicine Technology: Challenges and Solutions"

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Microwave and Wireless Communications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 2763

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Andrés Martínez Fernández
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Signal Theory and Communications, Rey Juan Carlos University, 28933 Móstoles, Spain
Interests: telemedicine; low-cost telecommunication systems for less developed regions
Prof. Dr. Ignacio Prieto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Signal Theory and Communications, Rey Juan Carlos University, 28933 Móstoles, Spain
Interests: wireless telecommunication; telemedicine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The World Health Organization defines telemedicine, in a broad sense, as “the delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities”, but it can be summarized as “the use of ICT to improve patient outcomes by increasing access to care and medical information”. Health care services in developed countries already use telemedicine technology in clinical routine, having it become an indispensable tool to achieve the efficiency of the system. The telemedicine market is an important sector already within the global economy. However, in developing countries, probably where telemedicine is most necessary due to the lack of specialists in rural areas, telemedicine systems and services do not take off. The main cause is probably the budgetary constraints to invest in the initial CAPEX, as well as the greater difficulties found due to the lack of infrastructures for power supply or Internet access. In these countries, telemedicine is probably the only alternative to bring quality medical care to an important part of the population by closing the distance between rural areas and specialized hospitals located in big and distant cities. For this, though, we need to promote three fundamental aspects: 1) the development of telemedicine technology specially designed to meet the needs of rural areas of developing countries (appropriate and low-cost technology); 2) the rigorous evaluation of the efficacy and the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine services in rural areas of developing countries compared with conventional health care; and 3) more flexible public policies that allow staff present in isolated rural areas (nurses and health technicians) to perform health care using telemedicine peripherals. This Special Issue on “Low-Cost Telemedicine Technology: Challenges and Solutions” in the MDPI Journal Electronics aims to find a consensus about the needs in the primary health care system of developing countries that can be met with telemedicine and known new appropriate and low-cost telemedicine technologies and verify the impact that these new solutions have on the health of the population.

We invite review/research papers of topics related to new telemedicine peripherals, how different health systems are using new technology in health care, telemedicine cost effectiveness and health care savings, how to power and connect telemedicine equipment in isolated areas, and telemedicine policy and regulation in developing countries. The topics include but are not limited to:

  • New sensors and equipment for the capture of biomedical signals;
  • New systems for processing and sending biomedical signals;
  • Clinical trials to verify telemedicine effectiveness and health care savings;
  • Telemedicine services for rural areas of developing countries;
  • Telemedicine policy and regulation in developing countries.

Prof. Dr. Andrés Martínez Fernández
Prof. Dr. Ignacio Prieto
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Electronics is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • New sensors and equipment for the capture of biomedical signals
  • New systems for processing and sending biomedical signals
  • Clinical trials to verify telemedicine effectiveness and health care savings
  • Telemedicine services for rural areas of developing countries
  • Telemedicine policy and regulation in developing countries

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Selected Energy Consumption Aspects of Sensor Data Transmission in Distributed Multi-Microcontroller Embedded Systems
Electronics 2022, 11(6), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11060848 - 08 Mar 2022
Viewed by 458
Abstract
Wireless network devices are currently a hot topic in research related to human health, control systems, smart homes, and the Internet of Things (IoT). In the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, they have gained even more attention. This remote and contactless distributed sensing [...] Read more.
Wireless network devices are currently a hot topic in research related to human health, control systems, smart homes, and the Internet of Things (IoT). In the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, they have gained even more attention. This remote and contactless distributed sensing technology enabled monitoring of vital signs in real-time. Many of the devices are battery powered, so appropriate management of available energy is crucial for lengthening autonomous operation time without affecting weight, size, maintenance requirement, and user acceptance. In this paper, we discuss energy consumption aspects of sensor data transmission using wireless Bluetooth Low Energy Mesh Long Range (BLE-M-LR) technology. Papers in the field of energy savings in wireless networks do not directly address the problem of the dependence of the energy needed for transmission on the type and degree of data preprocessing, which is the novelty and uniqueness of this work. We built and studied a prototype system designed to work as a multimodal sensing node in a compound IoT application targeted to assisted living. To analyze multiple energy-related aspects, we tested it in various operation and data transmission modes: continuous, periodic, and event-based. We also implemented and tested two alternative sensor-side processing procedures: deterministic data stream reduction and neural network-based recognition and labeling of the states. Our results reveal that event-based or periodic operation allows the node for years-long operating, and the sensor-side processing may degrade the power economy more than it benefits from savings made on transmission of concise data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Cost Telemedicine Technology: Challenges and Solutions)
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Article
Low-Cost Wireless Wearable System for Posture Monitoring
Electronics 2021, 10(21), 2569; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10212569 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 593
Abstract
Posture monitoring aiming at preventing many of the pathologies affecting the spine is becoming more and more essential in many contexts, including telemedicine. The market pushes towards the development of new technical solutions that are comfortable for the user and that are increasingly [...] Read more.
Posture monitoring aiming at preventing many of the pathologies affecting the spine is becoming more and more essential in many contexts, including telemedicine. The market pushes towards the development of new technical solutions that are comfortable for the user and that are increasingly becoming lower in terms of cost. Some systems at the state of the art level are effective and sometimes quite comfortable, but they have a degree of complexity that is not compatible with some market segments. Here, we report on the development, at a prototype level, a simple, low-cost, and potentially very comfortable microcontroller-based system capable of signaling incorrect postures with great sensitivity. The prototype, which has been tested also using video analysis, has shown its capacity to be easily integrated into a garment. Experimental activity has proven the prototype’s functionality. The wearable embedded system is able to detect flections in the back region monitored by the flex sensor with an accuracy of <3°. The achievement represents a further demonstration of the potential of wearable electronics in the context of cyber-physical systems for healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Cost Telemedicine Technology: Challenges and Solutions)
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Article
3D-Printed Portable Robotic Mobile Microscope for Remote Diagnosis of Global Health Diseases
Electronics 2021, 10(19), 2408; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10192408 - 02 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 814
Abstract
Microscopy plays a crucial role in the diagnosis of numerous diseases. However, the need for trained microscopists and pathologists, the complexity of pathology, and the accessibility and affordability of the technology can hinder the provision of rapid and high-quality diagnoses and healthcare. In [...] Read more.
Microscopy plays a crucial role in the diagnosis of numerous diseases. However, the need for trained microscopists and pathologists, the complexity of pathology, and the accessibility and affordability of the technology can hinder the provision of rapid and high-quality diagnoses and healthcare. In this work, we present an affordable, 3D-printed, portable, robotic, mobile-based slide scanning microscope. The proposed device is composed of electronic, mechanical, and optical modules operated via smartphone with a control app. The device is connected and fully integrated with a telemedicine web platform, where digitized microscopy images can be remotely visualized and analyzed. The robotic scanner, which has approximately 1-µm resolution, has been evaluated in two clinical scenarios with histology and stool samples. The results showed sufficient image quality for performing a proper diagnosis in all cases under study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low-Cost Telemedicine Technology: Challenges and Solutions)
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