Wipro Uses Wireless to Monitor Patients Remotely

Indian outsourcer Wipro has designed a gateway that uses GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) wireless technology to collect data remotely from medical devices such as blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, pedometers, and weighing scales available with patients.

In remote areas in India, GSM coverage is better than that of broadband or fixed-line dial-up connections, said R. Manimaran, general manager of the medical devices unit of the Wipro Technologies business of Wipro.

The design, which will be customized by Wipro for its clients in the medical devices business, has been designed using Intel's Atom processor.

Using a standard platform like the Atom platform for embedded applications has helped drive down costs, making the technology affordable in emerging markets, Manimaran said. The final price of the product will, however, be decided by the vendors, he added.

Indian outsourcers are increasingly focused on the development of intellectual property (IP) and reference designs that they expect will give them an edge in delivering product design and IT services to customers. Another Indian services company, MindTree, said in September that it was acquiring the Indian development subsidiary of Kyocera Wireless to do mobile handset design for Kyocera and other clients.

The medical gateway designed by Wipro allows the transmission of real-time medical data to application servers, physicians' handheld devices, and hospital systems through GSM, broadband and dial-up connections. It also supports video and audio conferencing for interactions between the patient and the doctor, and between doctors consulting with each other.

In rural areas, where sometimes individual patients may not have the connectivity, they can come to rural health care centers where the information can be collected and communicated to larger hospitals in the city, Manimaran said.

Medical devices can connect to the gateway through both wired technologies and wireless technologies such as Bluetooth to provide real time medical data, video and image transfer from a patient to doctor, and in turn from a doctor to doctor, Manimaran said.

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