UK-based Loughborough University’s engineers have entered upon a partnership with experts of India to develop a unique mobile phone health monitoring system. The device, which was first unveiled in 2005, uses a mobile phone to transmit a person’s vital signs, including the complex electrocardiogram (ECG) heart signal, to a hospital or clinic anywhere in the world. Professor Bryan Woodward and Dr Fadlee Rasid from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the Loughborough University have developed this mobile phone monitoring system. Presently the system can transfer the signals pertaining to the ECG, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and blood glucose level. Now the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) has awarded Professor Woodward a grant to further develop this mobile phone monitoring system. They have tied up with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi), the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Aligarh Muslim University and London’s Kingston University, to further develop the system. The research team is aiming to miniaturise the system, through designing sensors and mini-processors that are small enough to be carried by patients, and at the same time procure biomedical data. The network of sensors would be linked through a modem to mobile networks and the Internet, and to a hospital computer. Then, doctors can use this device to remotely monitor patients suffering from chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, which plagues millions across the world. The UK government will promote the device to improvethe efficiency of healthcare delivery. In India, the project will link clinics and regional hospitals in remote areas to centres of excellence. The clinical trials of the system will take place in the UK and India in the next three years.

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