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NSF awards $1.5M for study of in-home health care via wireless networks
Date:4/24/2008

ble the Abramson Center to design and manufacture Blue Box devices that will help patients with congestive heart failure, asthma or metabolic syndrome to participate more actively in their chronic disease care. On at least a daily basis, people can employ the device to simply, painlessly and non-invasively take stock of several key aspects of their health status.

The device compares the patients current markers with the patients own history of these readings, thus providing true personalized information. The wireless component allows the Blue Box to rapidly update and display useful information that is easy for the patient to understand. Because markers for chronic disease are measured every day, rather than only during physician visits or crises, the investigators hope to provide the patient with an early warning of decline. When caught earlier, symptoms can be managed more easily, improving quality of life.

"Our network in Pecan Park is a first-of-its-kind research platform," said Ed Knightly, professor of electrical and computer engineering and principal investigator on the project. "We are supporting more than 4,000 users in three square kilometers with a fully programmable wireless infrastructure. This allows us to demonstrate our research advances at an operational scale."

TFA-Wireless is a broadband wireless network that provides free, high-speed Internet service in Pecan Park, a neighborhood on Houston's east side. TFA-Wireless uses a multi-tier and multi-hop wireless "mesh" networking technology that involves dozens of interconnected wireless transmitters throughout the neighborhood. Anyone with a wireless-enabled computer can use the network, and registered users get faster service.

When TFA Wireless users log into the network, they connect to just one of the wireless transmitters in the neighborhood. These transmitters, which are called nodes, pass information between one another, relaying all data to and from a cent
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Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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