Mobile Networks and Applications

, Volume 12, Issue 2–3, pp 201–214 | Cite as

WISTA: A Wireless Telemedicine System for Disaster Patient Care

  • Yuechun Chu
  • Aura Ganz


In this paper, we introduce a low-cost and easy-to-deploy wireless telemedicine system, denoted WISTA, that can assist on-site patient care during disasters. The proposed system facilitates real-time transfer of multimedia data from video cameras, sensors, medical images and text from multiple disaster sites to the control center of the disaster area. WISTA enables disaster managers to obtain patients’ status information in real-time from the entire disaster site, which can assist the timely diagnosis as well as the treatment of patients. Moreover, the disaster managers in the control center can remotely control the information sent from the individual disaster sites. The proposed system uses a hierarchical architecture which allows scalable implementation. For dense disaster areas, a layered structure is applied to support information dissemination from s large number of patients. We have implemented the system prototype over a wireless channel and successfully demonstrated simultaneous transmission of video, sensor information, medical images and text from multiple sites to the control center. In addition, the scalability of the system is evaluated using OPNET simulation. Both experiments validate our system design.


disaster telemedicine wireless multimedia 802.11g Bluetooth patient information 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Garshnek V, Burkle F (1999) Telemedicine applied to disaster medicine and humanitarian response: history and future. Proceedings of the 32nd Hawaii International Conference on System SciencesGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pattichis C, Kyriacou E, Voskarides S et al (2002) Wireless telemedicine systems: an overview. IEEE Antennas Propag Mag 44(2):143–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Crowther J, Poropatich R (1995) Telemedicine in the US Army: case report from Somalia and Croatia. Telemed J 1(1):73–80Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chu Y, Ganz A (2004) A mobile teletrauma system using 3G networks. IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed 8(4):456–462, DecemberCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cullen J, Gaasch W, Gaglianoa D, Goins J, Gunawardane R (2001) Wireless mobile telemedicine: en-route transmission with dynamic quality-of-service management. TRW Inc., University of Maryland School of Medicine (Baltimore)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pavlopoulos S, Kyriacou E, Berler A, Dembeyiotis S, Koutsouris D (1998) A novel emergency telemedicine system based on wireless communication technology—AMBULANCE. IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed 2(4):261–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kyriacou E, Pavlopoulos S, Berler A, Neophytou M, Bourka A, Georgoulas A, Anagnostaki A, Karayiannis D, Schizas C, Pattichis C, Andreou A, Koutsouris D (2003) Multi-purpose HealthCare telemedicine systems with mobile communication link support. Biomed Eng Online 2(7)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Istepanian RH, Woodward B, Gorilas E, Balos PA (1998) Design of mobile telemedicine systems using GSM and IS-54 cellular telephone standards. J Telemed Telecare 4(Suppl. 1, no. 1):80–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Xiao Y, Gagliano D, LaMonte M, Hu P, Gaasch W, Gunawadane R (2000) Design and evaluation of a real-time mobile telemedicine system for ambulance transport. J High Speed Netw 9(1):47–56Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chan T, Killeen J, Griswold W, Lenert L (2004) Information technology and emergency medical care during disasters. Acad Emerg Med 11:1229–1236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Raytheon company: Emergency Patient Tracking System:
  12. 12.
    Bouman J, Schouwerwou R, WanderEijk K et al (2000) Computerization of patient tracking and tracing during mass casualty incidents. Eur J Emerg Med 7:211–216Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Collins J (2004) Tracking medical emergencies. RFID Journal (online) Apr. 22,
  14. 14.
    Park DG, Kang SW (2004) Development of reusable and expandable communication for wearable medical sensor network. In: Proceeding of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Conference 2004 (EMBC 2004), vol 7, pp 5380–5383Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Freedman A (1999) Computer desktop encyclopedia. AMACOMGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kazantzidis M, Gerla M (2002) End-to-end versus explicit feedback measurement in 802.11 networks. 7th IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications (ISCC 2002). Italy, July 1–4Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tee A, Cleveland J A cnew option proposed for 802.20 requirements on latency and packet error rates. IEEE 802.20 Working Group on Mobile Broadband Wireless Access, (online)
  18. 18.
    IEEE (2003) IEEE 802.11g standard. IEEE Computer SocietyGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Niranjan, Pandey S, Ganz A (2005) Design and evaluation of multichannel multirate wireless networks. BroadNets, Boston MA, USA, October 3–7Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Doufexi A, Arumugam A, Armour S, Nix A (2003) An investigation of the impact of Bluetooth interference on the performance of 802.11 g wireless local area networks. IEEE Veh Technol Conf (VTC Spring 2003), Jeju, Korea, April 21–24Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bluetooth Special Interest Group (20003) Specification of the Bluetooth system, version 1.2, November 05, 2003, available at:
  22. 22.
    Kowalke M (2006) TracStar selects firetide technology for emergency wireless solution. Available at
  23. 23.
    Hagan C, Boyce, C (2006) Interoperability/information management. Available at: (emergency systems developed by Florida state)
  24. 24.
    Porcino D, Hirt W (2003) Ultra-wideband radio technology: potential and challenges ahead. IEEE Commun Mag 66–74, JulyGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cisco Systems (2005) Capacity coverage & deployment considerations for IEEE 802.11g. Available at

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mesh Network Product Group, Motorola Inc.Lake MaryUSA
  2. 2.Multimedia Networks Laboratory ECE DepartmentUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

Personalised recommendations