Wireless sensor networks fill the need for real-time clinical monitoring in general hospital units where clinical deterioration in patients is a major concern. We developed a wireless clinical monitoring system for collecting pulse and oxygen saturation readings from patients. The system has recently been deployed for a clinical trial in a step-down cardiac care unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis. Over the seven-month deployment involving 46 patients, the system achieved a median network reliability of 99.68%. The overall reliability of the system was dominated by sensing reliability of the pulse oximeters. Sensing failures usually occurred in short bursts, although longer periods were also present due to sensor disconnections. We show that the sensing reliability could be significantly improved through oversampling and by implementing a disconnection alarm system that incurs moderate intervention cost. A retrospective data analysis indicated that the system provided sufficient temporal resolution to support the detection of clinical deterioration. This clinical trial demonstrated the feasibility and promise of wireless sensor network technology for clinical monitoring in general hospital units. This pilot study is part of a larger project aimed at identifying complications early in hospitalized patients using multi-modality methods/technologies. I will also give an overview of other on-going research on cyber-physical systems such as distributed monitoring and control of civil infrastructure.
Chenyang Lu is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Professor Lu is the author and co-author of more than 100 publications and a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award in 2005. He is associate editor of ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks, Real-Time Systems, and International Journal of Sensor Networks, and Guest Editor of the Special Issue on Real-Time Wireless Sensor Networks of Real-Time Systems and the Special Section on Cyber-Physical Systems and Cooperating Objects of IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics. He served as Program and General Chair of IEEE Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS) in 2008 and 2009, Track Chair on Sensor Networks of IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium (RTSS) in 2007 and 2009, Program Chair of International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS) in 2010, and Vice Chair on Sensor Networks and Ubiquitous Computing of International Conference on Distributed Computing (ICDCS) in 2011. He is a member of the Executive Committee of IEEE Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems. He received the Ph.D. degree in computer science from University of Virginia in 2001. His research interests include real-time embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, and cyber-physical systems.