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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C547586/1
Title: BiosensorNet: Autonomic Biosensor Networks for Pervasive Healthcare
Principal Investigator: Sloman, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Darzi, Professor AW Cass, Professor AEG Yang, Professor G
Yeatman, Professor EM Toumazou, Professor C O'Hare, Dr D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Mr EO Wells
Project Partners:
Department: Dept of Computing
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2005 Ends: 31 March 2009 Value (£): 1,403,809
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Intelligent Measurement Sys. Mobile Computing
Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Electronics
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The development of intelligent miniaturised biosensors capable of wireless communication will fundamentally change the way we monitor and treat patients with chronic disease and after surgery. These new sensors will allow the monitoring of the patients as they maintain their normal daily activities, and provide warning to healthcare workers when critical events arise. This will facilitate early discharge of patients from hospitals as well as providing reassurance to patients and family that potential problems will be detected at an early stage. The use of continuous monitoring avoids the problem of conventional diagnosis and monitoring method with which data is captured only for a brief period during hospital/clinic visit, allowing both transient and progressive abnormalities to be reliably detected.The aim of this proposal is to develop a new generation of intelligent biosensing networks that can combine information from multiple sources such as ECG, blood oxygenation level, temperature as well as current physical activity of the patient and report this to a remote monitoring service. This allows more accurate monitoring of patient conditions which can be analysed for predicting the occurrence of further adverse events. In addition, the collection of monitored information from many patients can be used in medical research to determine the general pattern and trend of certain chronic disease. Wireless based biosensors are more practical for monitoring patients as they maintain their normal activities as well as for combining information from multiple sensors. The intelligent sensors will be able to detect and recover from faulty components. The biosensor networks will be self-configuring so the network will automatically detect what sensors are available and how to communicate with a remote monitoring service - thus no technical skill will be needed to set up a sensor network. The demonstrator will be based on monitoring patients in a hospital who have had major surgery.There are many technical issues that need to be resolved. Some of the sensors may potentially be implanted, but even for on-body sensors, it is not practical to frequently change batteries. Technology requiring very low power for both signal processing and wireless communication is needed. Techniques of conserving power by switching off parts of the intelligent sensor, such as the wireless communications, when not needed, must be developed. New miniaturised techniques of generating power such as from heart or body movement must also be developed. Finally new types of sensing, based on protein engineering, is needed to determine what is actually happening within the body. These biosensor networks have many medical applications including the monitoring of post-operative patients and those on complex therapeutic drug regimes (e.g. chemotherapy); patients with chronic disease (e.g. diabetes, heart or lung disease); and mental health patients whose behaviour in the community is dependent on their compliance with their drug treatment. Although this proposal relates to the healthcare context, self-configuring, self-managing and self-healing sensor networks with power optimisation will have a broad scope of applications. These range from monitoring the environment, buildings or security, to military battlefield systems which require reliable long-term adaptive sensing by combining error-prone signals from multiple individual sensors.This multi-disciplinary consortium combines computer scientists, electronic engineers, bio-engineers and medics to research futuristic wireless biosensor networks which would be an integral part of future pervasive healthcare systems. The project builds on existing collaboration and considerable contribution from industry (Cardionetics, Medtronic, Tyco, Toumaz Technology and Docobo) as part of the DTI UbiMon project on which this project will be based. Being DTI funded, UbiMon is addressing shorter term prototype monitoring aimed at early commercialisation. This proposal will address the long-term research issues of intelligent miniaturised biosensors.
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Summary
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Project URL: http://ubimon.doc.ic.ac.uk/biosensornet/m432.html
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk