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Mobile health monitoring to launch in Sweden

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15:28 CEST+02:00
Telia launches mobile service for remote monitoring of patient health

From this summer Sweden's hospitals and health care units will have access to a new and unique patient monitoring service. Using GPRS in the mobile network, hospital and health care staff will be able to remotely monitor patients that do not require hospital treatment or other types of medical care.

The service, called BodyKom, has been developed by TeliaSonera Sweden in association with Hewlett Packard and Swedish software company Kiwok.

BodyKom functions by means of a communications device that is connected wirelessly to a number of sensors on a patient's body. The communications device communicates with health care personnel over TeliaSonera's nationwide mobile network, constantly monitoring the patient's health.

If the sensors detect any changes in the patient's health, or if the patient notices changes to his or her body functions, the system can automatically dispatch an alarm to an on-call doctor or to members of the patient's family.

"It can be difficult for patients to know exactly how their body is functioning if they have an irregular heartbeat, for example," said Professor Christer Sylvén at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.

"Using this service, a patient can theoretically be at home or at work and still feel secure. If an emergency situation should develop, health care personnel can be immediately notified and take the necessary measures."

BodyKom is currently being used to monitor the pulse of patients. In future the service will also be offered to patients with diabetes, asthma and other illnesses that might require emergency help.

"The service will mean better quality of life for patients, who will no longer have to be hospitalized but will still have access to health check-ups and emergency assistance if they need it," says Erik Heilborn, head of the Business Segment at TeliaSonera Sweden.

"If a larger number of patients can be discharged earlier from hospitals, BodyKom will naturally lead to savings in the health care sector."

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