Title: Development of a wireless rural telemedicine network and management system

Authors: Daoud I. Zatari

Addresses: Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Palestine Polytechnic University, Hebron, West Bank, Palestine

Abstract: This paper addresses the development of a low-cost wireless telemedicine network and a management protocol for rural Palestinian clinics. The importance of this work stems from the fact that there exist major problems, which include the distance between rural areas and cities, and the lack of a telecommunications infrastructure. The system provides rural clinics with access to medical specialists through a wireless connection to the internet using a cellular phone – a Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) through the GSM/GPRS network. Owing to the limitation of wireless bandwidth, the Patient Medical Record (PMR) is transmitted in a compressed and encrypted form. The data received are monitored and processed by the Centralised Telemedicine System (CTS) using the Telemedicine Rural Management Protocol (TRMP). Our findings suggest a considerable reduction in cases transferred to hospitals. Only 25% of the cases examined were referred to local hospitals, while the remaining reported cases received on-site clinical treatment. These findings were accepted by physicians and health service providers.

Keywords: low cost telemedicine; wireless networks; rural areas; wireless access protocol; WAP; internet; Palestine; rural clinics; healthcare technology; cellular phones; mobile phones; patient medical records; management protocol.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2007.013537

International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 2007 Vol.4 No.2, pp.109 - 117

Published online: 04 May 2007 *

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