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Digital Inclusion

Guillermo Marshall, Marcelo Risk, Alejandro Panelli, Mariano Perez, Alejandro Soba, Juan Pablo Suarez

We describe a digital inclusion kit to expand the frontiers of computing technology in health and higher education with the general goal of promoting research and development in Latin America. In Telemedicine (TM), we aim to reach underserved zones, rural and urban, with mobile technology (DITRK), which allows data acquisition of patients unable to assist to specialized medical centers. Mobile devices with portable acquisition systems, such as ECG or arterial blood pressure, allows the building of a clinic database for use in preventive medicine (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer). As a backbone,  a Virtual Cluster (VC) is constructed, sharing all patient data between educational and research communities.

    Architecture

    Database

    Clinic Database stores patient information related to health status, cardiovascular risks through measurable variables such as: arterial pressure, congenital illness treatments, diet, ECG’s, medical images. Geographical region is taken into account for analysis of regional deceases and prevention policies. This information is available for physicians consultation and for statistics. Database access is through web services and mobile system including GPRS.


       


       

      Patient information exchange and data base model interaction follows: A. An xml with patient data is generated in the smart device using the HL7 standard. B. The xml is sent via web service (with a security model). C. The transaction is stored storing the xml in the SQL Server 2005. D. Later, the xml is processed and patient data is incorporated in the predefined relational model. ▪ HL7 is an international community of healthcare experts and information scientists collaborating to create standards for electronic healthcare information (www.hl7.org).

       

      Handheld device

      The handheld device is used by a physician to gather patient’s information in situ through a specially developed application running on a mobile phone (Windows mobile); information such as personal data will be incorporated to his/her medical record. An ECG module connected to the handheld device, using a bluetooth interface, will permit the acquisition of an ECG, later to be stored into patient’s medical record. If GSM or GPRS services are available in situ, the collected records are sent to the main database server; if this is not the case, the records are temporarily stored in the handheld device and later sent to the server.



        Virtual Cluster

        VC is a distributed computing system executing distributed applications inside virtual machines installed on all nodes of a grid; it has central administration and remote resource control, uses MS Virtual Server 2005 providing "image files" for system deployment. Connection nodes-central server is through VPN.


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