The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: August 20, 2008
E-health closer to reality thanks to real-time medical data extraction
(Nanowerk News) In the framework of Holst
Centre, IMEC - Europe's leading independent nanoelectronics research
institute - has broadened the functionality and scope of its wireless
health monitoring technology by linking it to real-time extraction of
relevant medical data. The new technology builds upon the "knowledge
streaming" concept of i.Know -- a Belgian small- and medium-sized
enterprise (SME) -- specializing in intelligent applications for automated
knowledge extraction and representation. The system takes a central
position in the future scenarios of eHealth and personalized medicine.
The rising cost of healthcare in developed countries calls for alternative
ways of increasing efficiency, productivity and usability. Future health
monitoring systems will deliver intelligent services in chronic disease
management, assisted medical diagnostics, patient compliance monitoring and
emergency response. In all of these scenarios, the availability and
interpretation of personal medical data plays a crucial role.
Within its Human++ research program at Holst Centre, IMEC already focuses
on building blocks for miniaturized wireless sensor nodes allowing
comfortable and continuous measurement of body parameters. Thanks to the
collaboration with i.Know, the Human++ program moves one step further in
the chain and also develops technologies that allow fast and accurate
interpretation of the collected data.
The technology developed by IMEC and i.Know is illustrated for the case of
ambulatory cardiac monitoring (ECG). Based upon an incoming stream of ECG
signals, relevant features are extracted and associated with an objective
interpretation. For example the heart rhythm and the shape of an ECG peak
allow the system to detect abnormal physiological events. As a consequence,
a doctor or a call centre can be alerted to diagnose the status of the
Knowledge streaming encompasses the combination of extracting relevant data from abstract signals, assigning an objective interpretation to it and distributing it when necessary, all of this at real time on an incoming signal. Within Holst Centre, IMEC applied the concept for medical data extraction.
Now that the concept is proven, IMEC and i.Know will further enhance the
system by associating it with external databases such as electronic patient
records and PubMed. By doing so, the detection of abnormal events can be
enriched with contextual data (such as the medication history of the
patient). This will e.g. allow doctors to easier find their way in an
abundance of data and support their diagnosis. Future research also targets
the integration of data from multiple sensors such as EEG, EMG, physical
activity monitoring and temperature, allowing more precise interpretations.
The concept of knowledge streaming provides a generic framework for data
fusion and context-aware monitoring, possibly applicable in domains other
than healthcare and medicine.
IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and
nanotechnology. IMEC vzw is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, has a sister
company in the Netherlands, IMEC-NL, offices in the US, China and Taiwan,
and representatives in Japan. Its staff of more than 1600 people includes
more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2007, its
revenue was EUR 244.5 million.
IMEC's More Moore research aims at semiconductor scaling towards sub-32nm
nodes. With its More than Moore research, IMEC looks into technologies for
nomadic embedded systems, wireless autonomous transducer solutions,
biomedical electronics, photovoltaics, organic electronics and GaN power
IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at
universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of
processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio,
state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network worldwide position
IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems.
Further information on IMEC can be found at www.imec.be.
About Holst Centre
Holst Centre is an independent open-innovation R&D centre that develops
generic technologies for Wireless Autonomous Transducer Solutions and for
Systems-in-Foil. A key feature of Holst Centre is its partnership model
with industry and academia around shared roadmaps and programs. It is this
kind of cross-fertilization that enables Holst Centre to tune its
scientific strategy to industrial needs.
Holst Centre was set up in 2005 by IMEC (Flanders, Belgium) and TNO (The
Netherlands) with support from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and
the Government of Flanders. It is named after Gilles Holst, a Dutch pioneer
in Research and Development and first director of Philips Research.
Located on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, Holst Centre benefits from
the state-of-the-art on-site facilities. Holst Centre has over 100
employees (growing to over 200 by 2010) and a commitment from over 15
industrial partners. Visit www.holstcentre.com
i.Know is a Belgian company developing ways to handle the information
overflow today's society has to cope with. By performing an automatical
qualitative analysis on all kinds of data, i.Know's 'Information Forensics'
Technology gives structure to unstructured data piles so that they can be
easily unlocked, accessed, searched an enriched.
i.Know stands for and develops Intelligent Knowledge Management Systems:
smart software tools and applications for information and knowledge
management. Its technology leads to Knowledge Streaming applications (such
as the one described in this article), streamlining multiple information
sources autonomously into knowledge via one interface in real time.
Knowledge Streaming hence allows people and enterprises to anticipate all
kinds of situations with well-informed decisions, based on true
understanding of all available data; on the spot, whenever and wherever
In order to develop its technology and applications, i.Know partners with
several eminent enterprises and participates in a number of research
projects, all intelligently dealing with information and knowledge. Please
visit www.iknow.be for more information.