OCTOBER 16-18, 2019



October 16-18, 2019 | Boston, MA

Solving the Remote mHealth challenge

By Torbjörn Grahm, Sony Network Communications Europe

I read somewhere that although engineers generally have good problem-solving skills, they are less good at defining which problems need to be solved. I completely disagree! And to prove it, here’s a serious problem that the engineers at Sony Network Communications Europe have identified and solved.

Global health care providers desperately need an effective way to support the elderly and those with chronic health conditions in their home environments. They need to reduce the number of hospital visits such people currently make.  We have an answer!

What does it take to build a successful remote health monitoring service?

  • First, you need a generic data collection system. One that can pick up relevant information from patients without demanding too much from them. Any monitoring device should be simple to use, easy to read, comfortable to wear and have a long battery life.
  • Next, you need a way to send collected data to the caregiver. A communication channel that’s compliant with the privacy and security regulations for sensitive personal data - both in the US and Europe.
  • If data is collected from several sensors which are made by different companies, access to the endpoint data must be strictly limited to authorised receivers.
  • The communications technology used for sending and receiving data must work smoothly in a global world, taking into account the fact that people travel abroad and expect things to work just as they do at home.

Which technology enablers would support the creation of such a solution? 

  • First, sensors for glucose, blood pressure, pulse, heart rate, ECG, fall tendencies, stress levels, location etc. These use Bluetooth Low Energy standard for power efficient data collection.
  • Sending the collected data with normal mobile phone to a Cloud backend is technically possible, but requires regular charging and a confident user. A better solution is therefore to use the LTE Cat M1 IOT modem standard. It’s designed for short messages and can be integrated with wearable devices, bracelets or cards hung around the patient’s neck. This allows for a battery lifetime of 7-10 days in most cases.
  • Data sent over LTE Cat M1 must be collected in an intelligent backend that can be accessed by Care Givers via API:s. MQTT protocol and Rest API:s are suitable enablers for this purpose.
  • To solve global connectivity challenges and simplify things for care-givers, the best technology is an embedded SIM with global roaming. Cellular connectivity is basically soldered into the monitoring device and controlled via the backend. It works both ways i.e. information can also be sent back to the wearable.
  • To make sure the mHealth solution reaches all those who can benefit from it, you need an open embedded application development platform with well-defined platform API:s. Uploaded applications must be strictly controlled and the software in the dedicated device must be updated via FOTA (Firmware over the Air).

A solution built on these enablers would create the basis for an mHealth ecosystem; one that could be applied to lots of different use cases. It would give global health care providers a scalable and reusable platform and a cost-effective way to support vulnerable people at home.

The good news is, we have already created such a solution!

Look out for details in the next post.



Torbjörn Grahm, Senior Problem Solver at Sony Network Europe, obtained his Masters in Engineering Physics from Lund Technical University. He has spent thirty years in innovative high-tech industries with focus on mobile wireless technologies, low power designs and sensor technologies. He is passionate about creating ecosystems that can grow based on the collaboration between users and implementers to solve real challenges


Hear more from Sony at the Connected Health Conference with Anders Stromberg, Head of Wearable Platform, speaking on the Innovation Zone Stage Thursday, October 17th at 11:30 am!

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