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Telemedicine and Assistive Technology . Ronald Merrell, MD, FACS Azhar Rafiq, MD, MBA. Virginia Commonwealth University, MITAC Richmond Virginia The Astronaut in a Hostile and Remote Environment. Apprehend the physiologic status Collate the data

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Telemedicine and Assistive Technology

Ronald Merrell, MD, FACS

Azhar Rafiq, MD, MBA

Virginia Commonwealth University, MITAC

Richmond Virginia


The Astronaut in a Hostile and Remote Environment

  • Apprehend the physiologic status
  • Collate the data
  • Interpret the data locally
  • Propose and realize a response
  • Record the event and transmit to a distant management site
  • Design, validate and implement sensor network for semi-autonomous physiological monitoring system.
analogies for assistive technology requirements
Analogies for Assistive Technology Requirements
  • Medical situations or probabilities that require prompt response and might otherwise confine the individual to a strictly monitored environment
  • Desire for maximal independence of mobility and location
  • Need for local prompt alert and response while maintaining strong connection to a distant management site
  • Great technical solutions for sensing, data management and telecommunications awaiting application

Program Description

Sensor network

Data sampling and conditioning

Data pre-processing

Data archive and analysis

Data communication


sensor network
Sensor network
  • Skin Surface Temperature
  • Galvanic Skin conductance
  • Pulse Oximeter - Heart Rate
  • Pulse Oximeter - Oxygen Saturation (SpO2)
  • Plethysmograph – Blood Volume (Perfusion)

Advanced EVA Desert RATS

2005 CAIpack




Hab RV



Bio Sensor Network

  • Physiological sensor network in direct contact with skin
  • Integrate sensor signals into a single feed to computer with VPack
  • All wires from sensors
  • embedded inside sock
  • to prevent tear in suit bladder

Pulse oximetry sensor

Skin Temperature sensor

Galvanic Skin Resistance

Liquid cooling garment


data archive and analysis
Data archive and analysis
  • ASCII file format with fixed column format
  • Date and time stamp
  • Data analysis algorithm
  • Alerts communication with text message to cell phone
diabetes monitoring applications
Diabetes monitoring applications

Alarm -

text message

Chronic care-

Diabetes monitoring

Software interface

Demonstration b/w San Francisco and Virginia – Diabetes technology conference

passive wireless monitoring for signs of hypoglycemia

Passive Wireless Monitoring for Signs of Hypoglycemia

Ronald C. Merrell, MD, FACS

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, Virginia






assistive living applications
Assistive Living Applications
  • Activity
  • Location
  • Vital signs
  • Acute change alarms
  • Trending alerts
  • Messaging to reconfirm regimen and refine response to changes
assistive living applications15
Assistive Living Applications
  • Alzheimer Syndrome
  • Physical impairment due to neurological injury
  • Congestive heart failure monitoring
  • Diabetes mellitus monitoring
  • Arrhythmia monitoring
  • Sleep pathology
  • Fall alerts
  • Alerts for loss of consciousness
  • Seizure alerts
  • Monitoring for peripheral vascular disease
  • Home or out of home

Thank you

  • Our SBIR partners:
  • Sleepmate Inc
  • Carillion Health Systems
  • AFrame Inc
  • VCU Health System
  • This presentation and a pertinent publication are available on our web site under presentations.