In the future, transfer of vital sensor data from patients to the public health care system is likely to become commonplace. Systems for automatic transfer of sensor data are now at the prototype stage. As electronic health record (EHR) systems adapt such functionality, widespread use may become an actuality in the foreseeable future.
To prevent spreading of diseases, an early detection of infection is important. At the time an outbreak is diagnosed, many people may already be infected due to the incubation period. This study suggests an approach for detecting an epidemic outbreak at an early stage by monitoring blood glucose data collected from people with diabetes. Continuous analysis of blood glucose data may have the potential to prevent large outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as different strains of Influenza, Cholera, Plague, Ebola, Anthrax and SARS.
When a person gets infected, the blood glucose value increases. If the blood glucose data from a large number of patients with diabetes are collected in a central database, it may be possible to detect an epidemic disease outbreak at an early stage. Advanced data analysis on the data may detect predominant numbers of incidences, indicating a possible outbreak. This gives the health authorities the possibilities to take actions to limit the outbreak and its consequences for all the inhabitants in an affected area.
At the Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine, a mobile system for automatic transfer of blood glucose values has been constructed. By using wireless communication standards such as Bluetooth and GSM, the system transfers blood glucose data to an electronic health record system. Combined with a system accessing and querying data from EHR systems for patient surveillance we are extending our work into an Epidemic Disease Detection using blood Glucose (EDDG) system.
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