Nowadays wireless sensors play an important role for patient health diagnosis and treatment of their diseases. Some of these sensors are used to monitor the environmental conditions (like temperature, humidity) of the room where the patient is housed and some sensors are deployed on patients to continuously monitor their physiological signals. The information received from these sensors helps a medical practitioner to diagnose the cause of a disease. Rapid diagnostics often lead to better and more timely treatment.
However, these sensors have limited processing and storage capacity. To overcome these limitations of sensors, we propose to utilize the processing and storage capabilities offered by a grid infrastructure by integrating a grid network with a network of wireless sensors referred here as a wireless sensor network (WSN). Many of the developments in the grid computing domain have provided us with computational grids as well storage grids. As the name suggests, computational grids provide computational resources required by various applications, while storage grids provide seamless access to storage resources.
In the proposed system, our grid consists of both computational and storage resources and the grid provides seamless access to both of them in a ubiquitous manner. We propose to deploy a system consisting of several WSN’s and a grid network to a health care entity consisting of several departments. Each department has its own network of wireless sensors connected in master slave configuration and a base station. The slave sensor nodes relay environmental and patient’s physiological data to the corresponding master node. Master node collects the data from the slave sensor nodes and forwards the same to the base station which then forwards the data to the grid.
Note that each department has two master sensor nodes-one for collecting environmental parameters and the other for patient health parameters. The grid stores both environmental and patient health data on its storage resources based on certain rules. Our wireless sensor-grid framework, as shown in the figure, consists of several WSNs, one WSN for each department and the grid resources like processing elements, disk arrays for the processing and storage of sensor data. These grid resources are shared among various wireless sensor nodes networks. Our wireless sensor-grid framework provides a platform for medical practitioners and patients to share information that facilitates processing, analysing, diagnosing and treating patient’s diseases. Using the proposed system, medical practitioners and patients can access the data whenever it is required. The data coming from the critical care departments is given a higher priority. This system proactively takes care of the emergency situations and an alert is also issued to doctors or patient’s family in emergency conditions.
The main advantage of our proposed Wireless-Sensor-Grid Framework with other health care methods is to provide efficient healthcare to patients, offer prioritized care to critical patients, have an energy efficient data collection, have secure access to patient health records and deliver timely alerts to medical practitioners/patients to enhance patient health management.
– Dr. Goldie Gabrani and Dr. Sunil Gupta