Center aims to advance remote health care technologies and systems

While significant strides have been made in health care, there are still more than one billion individuals who lack access to health care systems. Additionally, many of those receiving medical care could benefit from improved and more adequate treatment through accurate and frequent monitoring of their condition.

Recognizing this, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) has established the Center for Remote Healthcare Technology (CRHT), a center aimed at advancing remote health care technologies and remote health care systems so that people everywhere can be linked to health care providers and receive timely, effective and personalized care.

"With the advancement in both technologies for personalized medicine and wireless communications, I believe this new Center for Remote Healthcare Technologies will provide a focal point for the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the Texas A&M University System to make huge advances in these areas," said Dr. Gerard L. Coté, interim director of the center.

Health challenges of today include chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and conditions closely associated with poverty, such as malnutrition.

In addition to chronic and infectious diseases there is a critical need for health status monitoring for the elderly, athletes, astronauts and field-deployed military personnel.

To aid with these issues, the CRHT aims to serve the state, nation and global community in addressing critical needs in health care, in particular in emergency and other situations where physicians are not in close proximity, thereby making it essential that timely and effective care is provided remotely.

The newly established center will help fulfill this mission by promoting fundamental research in medical devices and information systems that efficiently and reliably gather, process and convey medical and diagnostic data to physicians so they are able to provide care at a distance.

To do this, the center will not only perform fundamental research in both biomedical sensors and wireless systems to reliably and efficiently communicate information, but will also develop prototype systems that incorporate the results of the research and will engage the medical device industry, state and federal agencies, and the medical community in design, development, testing and deployment of those systems.

"The vision of this new center is focused on not only producing the fundamental discoveries that will advance remote health care, but also translating those discoveries in partnership with government agencies and industry into practical systems for deployment in a variety of remote settings," said Coté.