Bluetooth/USB Adapter for Medical Devices

Team
Personal Health Information Technology

Summary

An adapter was developed to enable data transfer from stand-alone medical devices, such as glucometers, via the wireless Bluetooth or wired USB standards. The adapter enables the provision of low cost remote patient and vital sign monitoring solutions for chronic and acute disease management.

Background

Stand-alone medical devices often do not have the built-in feature to allow transfer of data wirelessly through Bluetooth or through a wired USB connection. In particular, remote monitoring for diabetes management requires blood glucose readings to be transferred from glucometers, which are supplied free of charge with the purchase of the glucometry strips. A Bluetooth/USB adapter was developed at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation to allow seamless data transfer from glucometers to a mobile phone or computer. Prior to the development of this adapter, there was no reliable and cost-effective solution that existed in the market.

Adapter Development

The adapter was developed to support the Continua Health Alliance Version 1 guidelines for Bluetooth and USB data transfer. It was originally developed to allow data transfer from glucometers, but it can also be easily modified to enable data transfer via Bluetooth and USB from various other medical devices. The adapter is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Evaluation

In 2006, the adapter was used in a Type II diabetes and hypertension remote patient monitoring trial conducted in the northern community of Chapleau, Ontario. Blood glucose readings from the patient’s glucometer were sent automatically and wirelessly through Bluetooth via the adapter to a mobile phone, which in turn sent the data to the application servers.

Future Work

The adapter will be used in a remote monitoring trial for gestational diabetes management in the winter of 2008/2009. Women who develop diabetes during pregnancy will have their blood glucose readings transmitted automatically from their glucometers via the adapter, so that they and their healthcare team can be alerted immediately to potentially dangerous blood sugar elevations.

Other future work includes extending the adapter to allow data transfer from other medical devices, such as insulin pumps.

Conclusion

A Bluetooth/USB adapter was developed to enable seamless data transfer from stand-alone medical devices, such as glucometers. The utility and reliability of the adapter has been validated through clinical trials.

Project Sponsors

Logan, A.

Cafazzo, J.

Organizations

Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University Health Network

Mt. Sinai Hospital