Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

A mobile health system to empower care services in remote and rural regions

on 02-01-2019

... Researchers from IT in Covilhã are developing a mobile health solution for healthcare professionals that travel to remote and rural regions to provide care services. The main objective of this system is to enhance health services by optimizing several treatment processes and monitoring mechanisms. The mobile application consists of a SOA system that registers and follows remotely persons that live in rural areas or isolated. Android OS was chosen for developing mainly its open source APIs and the vast diversity of covered mobile devices. The chosen mobile device was a tablet due to its practical use and insertion of data in seconds. Besides it comprised optimal processing and storage capabilities and all the required communication components, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and/or GSM/CDMA data modules. A major challenge to the implementation of this system is the Internet availability in rural and remote regions. Therefore the caching mechanism saves automatically all data that failed to be sent until a network connection is established. This mechanism works independently of the m-Health application and collected data can be forwarded afterward to the Internet without the need to use the application. All patient records are stored in a remote database through HTTP on REST Web services that provide all the required information.

This system was tested in a real pilot in collaboration with a healthcare institution involving 42 patients and 4 healthcare professionals. QoE evaluation was done and a total of 294 patients were attendance. Hardware problems, such as network disconnection and energy issues were reported in 4% of all cases. This system reduces significantly the care costs and lessens the need for physical contact between patient and physician.

Photo: Material used to run the application and to perform an Electrocardiogram.

Mário Silveirinha awarded £350,000 research grant to ‘break’ time-reversal symmetry with mechanical motion

on 01-01-2019

... Professor Mário Silveirinha, from the University of Lisbon and researcher at IT is the winner of the £350,000 IET A. F. Harvey Engineering Research Prize. He was chosen from high-calibre candidates from across the world as a result of his new approach and vision of how time reversal symmetry can be broken with ‘mechanical motion’, such as by injecting a drift electric current into a material.

The funding will support a further five years of work with the aim of showing how such solutions may enable the one-way propagation of microwave and terahertz waves totally immune to the undesired effects of back-scattering by obstacles, imperfections, and other deformations of the propagation path.

Professor Silveirinha, said: “I am extremely honoured to receive the IET A. F. Harvey Engineering Research Prize. It is rather inspiring that Dr. Arthur F. Harvey was himself one of the pioneers of nonreciprocal microwave devices, and I am thrilled that I will be able to build my own research on nonreciprocal and topological electromagnetics with the generous support of his Prize and contribute with innovative solutions for future technologies”.

Sir John O’Reilly, Chair of the IET’s Selection Committee for the Prize, said: “Prof. Mário G. Silveirinha is awarded the A F Harvey Research Prize in recognition of his outstanding research achievements and as a pioneer in the field of near-zero index materials and photonics. This is a fundamental research area that will have important implications for applications such as mobile radio, radar, and optical fibre communication networks in the future.”

The IET’s A F Harvey Research Prize, worth £350,000, is named after Dr. A. F. Harvey who bequeathed a generous sum of money to the IET for a trust fund to be set up in his name for the furtherance of scientific research into the fields of medical, microwave, laser or radar engineering.

Prof. Mário Silveirinha will present a prize lecture on his research at IET London: Savoy Place on 18 March 2019.