The PDA carried by the lady health worker acts as a base station for transmission of patient's data to the main server in
the hospital. Its software part consists of a device driver for detecting and
handling data gathering layer, and a local application interface which displays
the gathered data for local monitoring and sends it to the main server for
medical analysis. The feedback from server is displayed on the PDA. The PDA also
provides an interface for entering patient's data manually or reading it
automatically using the patient identification system. The PDA will also store
automatically scheduled tasks for the lady health worker, making it easier for
her to keep track of her duties. These tasks could be updated remotely by doctor
from the hospital to give advice for a particular patient. Thus, the efficiency
of lady health workers will be increased as their schedules will be automated
and updated from a central office. An abstraction layer will be developed for
handling the device setup and control of data gathering module. The abstraction
layer on the PDA will hide the device setup of data gathering module and other
hardware specifics from the application level. It will provide simple API calls
which will make the job of application development easy.
As the purpose of this whole system is to automate the process of antenatal
checkups and reduce the interventions of lady health workers to a minimum, the
identification of patients shall also be automated. Identity cards using smart
card technology shall be issued for each patient. These cards will contain the
personal details, medical history record and unique identifier for each patient.
The lady health worker shall swap the card through a card reader attached to the
PDA and the patient's data will be automatically read and loaded in the
application. This data will be sent along with the medical data obtained by the
The local application at PDA will focus on displaying the patient's
information for local monitoring. As the system is to be used by
not-so-well-educated lady health workers, the information will be displayed in a
simplistic manner so as to minimize the level of training required to operate
The application will also provide a configuration panel to adjust settings for
connection to remote server located at the hospital. The application will also
provide necessary controls to adjust the parameters of certain sensors. This
application will be based on the APIs already developed in the abstraction layer
of the PDA's software.
Along with the display of data, this application will also notify the user
with the help of alarms in case any measurement goes out of its normal bounds.
The application will notify the user if some sensor is not responding for some
For transfer to remote server, this application will also provide some data
compression techniques. This will help in reducing the payload of the
information sent to the remote server. The communication with the remote server
will be made secure by using state of the art cryptographic techniques.
The local monitoring application will also provide the lady health worker with
an editable field to enter the verbal input/complaints of patients and LHW's
findings. These findings will be transmitted to the hospital server along-with
the physiological data of the patient. It will be recorded in the database and
displayed on the remote monitoring application when the doctor views that
particular patient's data.
The local monitoring application will also provide the facility to record the
data offline and transmit it later. If GPRS is not available in a region, this
file can be copied on a memory stick and uploaded to the server later from some
other region or using a different medium e.g. internet on telephone. Moreover,
the LHW will be able to retrieve these saved records later if needed.
To take readings of patient's data, the lady health visitor attaches the medical
sensor modules to the patient's body, and connects the data gathering module to
the PDA through the USB cable. The PDA sets up communication with the data
gathering module through a device driver. It transmits this data to the
hospital's main server and displays feedback received from the hospital's
server. A software abstraction layer will be provided to ease the process of
development of local application as well as interaction with the main server at
hospital through wide area wireless medium (GPRS).