Edmonton

Edmonton researchers to test LG health data cellphone

Health researchers in Edmonton are teaming up with Korean-based LG Electronics to fine-tune a hand-held device that transmits patients' home test results to nurses using a cellphone.

Health researchers in Edmonton are teaming up with Korean-based LG Electronics to fine-tune and test a hand-held device that transmits patients' home test results to health-care providers using a cellphone.

The sensor device,designed to be built into a cellphone, would allow patients to test their own vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse and temperature, then send the information electronically to their nurse or doctor.

There are plans to include glucose levels and other blood chemistry readings later.

Officials said the device could help people with conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, that require frequent home-care monitoring, as well as seniors or patients who live in rural areas.

Dr. Bob Haennel,chair of theUniversity of Alberta's physical therapy department, said he only had to look athis 85-year-old father-in-law to know this device can make a difference.

"And right now when he measures his blood pressure he has one unit, and when he measures his glucose he has another, and when he measures his heartrate he has another device," he said.

"And what this is doing is wrapping the three of these together and ultimately putting it on the platform that people will carry with them most of the time."

The province announced Monday it's committing $1.5 million to the joint project by LG, Capital Health and the university. The three-year project is based in Edmonton.

The first phase of testing and trials for prototypes is scheduled to begin in January. The project includes plans to commercialize the device for North American markets.

LG specializes in producing consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile devices, reporting global sales of $38.5 billion US in 2006.

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