Dedicated real-time monitoring system for health care using ZigBee
Real-time monitoring systems (RTMSs) have drawn considerable attentions in the last decade. Several commercial versions of RTMS for patient monitoring are available which are used by health care professionals. Though they are working satisfactorily on various communication protocols, their range, power consumption, data rate and cost are really bothered. In this study, the authors present an efficient embedded system based wireless health care monitoring system using ZigBee. Their system has a capability to transmit the data between two embedded systems through two transceivers over a long range. In this, wireless transmission has been applied through two categories. The first part which contains Arduino with ZigBee will send the signals to the second device, which contains Raspberry with ZigBee. The second device will measure the patient data and send it to the first device through ZigBee transceiver. The designed system is demonstrated on volunteers to measure the body temperature which is clinically important to monitor and diagnose for fever in the patients.
Real-time monitoring of only electrocardiogram (ECG) for the patients using Zigbee and Session Initiation Protocol has been reported in  and for several biomedical signals from different patients can be found in  which are to be accessible easily by health care professionals. Recently, Google Android  has released a health care gadget called ‘BluetoothHealth’  that supports the ISO/IEEE Standards. Another system for ECG monitoring based on ZigBee technology can be found in . However, their system needs a PC with graphical user interface interface. Since the Bluetooth operates on low energy, so for monitoring the ECG signal from the patient, another system on mobile technology has been implemented by Yu et al. . Besides the ECG signals, a system has been developed  for monitoring of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, a sleeping disorder in patients. It is also reported by researchers for the rehabilitation of aged people to monitor and assist while they are walking . The recorded real-time data could be helpful for the corrective treatment by health care professionals. However, an integrated simple system (RTMS) for patient monitoring is required that should be characterised by its size, time, cost, communication protocol, range and the speed of data transmission.
The proposed RTMS consists of the following stages: (i) system design, (ii) system installation and (iii) programming codes. The integrated system having these important stages is shown in Fig. 1. 3.1. System design: The system design is the most important stage to build any system. The system design must be integrated in order to increase the system efficiency and limit the future problems and errors as much as possible. This system design is based on the following characteristics: parameters, technologies, circuits, approximate cost, components and software. Among various physiological parameters, primary parameter to be observed from the patients is the body temperature. So the main components are the temperature sensors for measuring the temperature, the embedded system that connected with the sensors and processing of signals, the transmission modules that transmit and receive the signals, and the embedded controller which process and display the received signals. Generally, there are many wireless technologies that can be used for the transmission of medical data such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Bluetooth Low Energy, LoRaWAN and so on. A particular application can be decided by examining several characteristics which include power consumption, data rate and the range. These three characteristics have been considered in designing this system and the overall cost of the system. In comparison, ZigBee is more suitable due to the following features: † Power consumption of ZigBee is very low. † The range of ZigBee is very large (300 ft–40 miles)  which is an essential feature to monitor the patient within health care facilities (hospitals and clinics) or from outside the buildings like ambulance services. † The data rate in ZigBee (250 kbit/s) is low which is suitable for measuring and sensing the vital signs. The cost is low.
Arduino is a popular open-source electronic hardware circuit board that can read as well as write the code simultaneously. In our system, it is used to read the instructions for turning LED on or off, and at the same time to write the sensed temperature values for sending it to the Raspberry Pi that displays on the screen. This process takes place wirelessly which is considered as an important feature of the device in terms of the speed thus saving the time and effort. By using the Raspberry Pi which is an affordable single board computer programmed for alarming abnormal values and continuously display on the screen. By using these two specialised electronic hardware circuits the speed enhances at lower power consumption compared with other versions of RTMS technologies. It can be extended for the desired physiological parameters cascading with appropriate patient monitoring devices such as blood pressure, heart rate, SPO2 pulse oximeter and so on, based on the type of illness of the patient. The physician can monitor the patients remotely and can plan for further course of treatment. The doctor can save the valuable time by instructing the paramedics to apply prescribed medication on the patients. As the technology is dramatically progressing, the electronic hardware component’s quality is improving but the costs are decreasing. The components used in our proposed system for health care application are affordable which make the dedicated system cost effective. 5. Funding and declaration of interests: Conflict of interest: None declared.
 A Right to Health. Available at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/ factsheets
 Abdullah A., Ismael A., Rashid A., ET AL.: ‘Real time wireless health monitoring application using mobile devices’, Int. J. Comput. Netw. Commun., 2015, 7, (3), pp. 13–30
 Sirisha B., Shraddha T., Vijayanand K.: ‘Real-time multi-patient monitoring system using ARM and wireless sensor network’, Int. J. Commun. Netw. Secur., 2013, 2, (2), pp. 41–47, ISSN: 2231–1882
 Lin Y.-F., Shie H.-H., Yang Y.-C., ET AL.: ‘Design of a real-time and continua-based framework for care guideline recommendations’, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2014, 11, pp. 4262–4279
 Kim B., Kim Y., Lee I., ET AL.: ‘Design and implementation of a ubiquitous ECG monitoring system using SIP and the ZigBee networks’. Proc. of the Future Generation Communication and Networking (FGCN 2007), Jeju, Korea, 6–8 December 2007, pp. 599–604
 Fariborz H., Moghawemi M., Mehrkanoon S.: ‘The design of an intelligent wireless sensor network for ubiquitous healthcare’. Proc. of the Int. Conf. on Intelligent and Advanced System, Kualalumpur, Malaysia, 25–28 November 2007, pp. 414–417
 Google Inc. Android Developers. Available at http://www.android. com/, accessed on 9 February 2017
 BluetoothHealth. Available at https://developer.android.com/ reference/android/bluetooth/BluetoothHealth.html, accessed on 9 February 2017
 Sia H.-Y.H., Wang L.-H., Lin F.-C., ET AL.: ‘Design and implementation of a wireless ECG acquisition and communication system with health care services’. Proc. of the Int. Symp. on Bioelectronics and Bioinformatics, Suzhou, 3–5 November 2011, pp. 25–28
 Yu B., Xu L., Li Y.: ‘Bluetooth low energy (BLE) based mobile electrocardiogram monitoring system’. Proc. of the IEEE Int. Conf. on Information and Automation Shenyang, China, June 2012, pp. 763–767
 Gao R., Yang L., Wu X., ET AL.: ‘A phone-based e-health system for OSAS and its energy issue’. Proc. of the Int. Symp. on Information Technology in Medicine and Education, Hokodate, Hokkaido, 3–5 August 2012, pp. 682–696
 Lan T., Li X.: ‘Gait Analysis via a high resolution triaxial accelartion sensor based on ZigBee technology’. Proc. of the Int. Conf. on Complex Medical Technology, Beijing, 25–28 May 2013, pp. 697–702