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This thesis has to do with the transfer of medical records taken remotely to a doctor via GSM wireless communication link. Specifically it makes use of the Short Messaging System (SMS) of the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM). The records will be taken by a nurse and stored in the hospital database via a visual basic developed user-interface. Whenever the threshold for a certain parameter set by the doctor is exceeded an SMS alert is sent to the doctor indicating an emergency to which the doctor sends back a reply giving directives to the caregiver on procedures to undertake pending his arrival. On the doctor’s visit, the history of records taken during his time of absence can be accessed by him for proper prescriptions for the patient which is equally stored in the database. Also if there is a new patient, the record is sent automatically to the doctor.



1.1       Background of the Study

Worldwide, people living in rural and remote areas struggle to access timely, quality specialty medical care. Residents of these areas often have access to substandard specialty healthcare, primarily because specialist physicians are more likely to be located in areas of concentrated population. There is also the challenge of having very few experts especially those managing chronic diseases even in the urban areas. Effective management of diseases especially chronic diseases can result in improved health outcomes and increased quality of life since more than 80% of primary care visits and two thirds of medical admissions into hospital emergency departments are related to chronic diseases. For example, controlling a parameter such as blood pressure in people with diabetes and hypertension has been shown to reduce mortality and incidence of severe and costly complications such as renal and cardiovascular disease.


Health care systems are now changing due to the dynamic nature of technological and scientific medical practices. The health care providers are now swiftly adopting these technologies into their health care procedures. Because of innovations in computing and communication technologies, many elements of medical practice can be accomplished when the patient and health care provider are geographically separated. The separation can be as small as across a town, across a state or even across the world.

Remote patient monitoring is relatively a new area of interest which enables medical professionals to monitor a patient remotely using various technological devices. It is primarily used for monitoring chronic diseases or specific diseases like heart diseases, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension e.t.c. These services can provide comparable health outcomes to traditional in-patient encounters, supply greater satisfaction to patients and is cost effective. Monitoring a patient at home or in a clinic without a resident expert using known device like blood pressure monitors, glucose meters e.t.c. and transferring the information to a caregiver is a fast growing emerging service. In developing countries like South Africa, Primary Remote Diagnostic

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