A low-cost reader for automatically collecting vital signs in hospitals

Kuo Yi Chen, Fuh Gwo Chen, Ting Wei Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Nowadays, the use of medical sensors with embedded communication modules provides accurate number reading and automatic recording. However, such readers are usually more expensive than similar devices without an embedded communication module. Further, different vendors define proprietary communication protocols and data formats for their own medical sensors. Due to the twin issues of high cost and diversity of standards, the automatic collection of patients' vital signs is not common in hospitals, meaning that medical staff need to periodically collect all patients' vital signs. This may cause further problems in caring for patients. We propose a low-cost reader using a cheap web camera to automatically read vital sign monitors in hospitals. The reader uses a high-resolution web camera to take a series of pictures of vital sign monitors and recognizes vital signs in electronic form and then forwards that information to hospital information systems. Its major benefit is that different sensors equipped with vital sign monitors, whether they include a computer communications module, can be digital-number recognized. It saves time in recording monitored vital signs of patients widely located in hospitals. In sum medical staff care of patients may be usefully assisted by the proposed reader which automatically collects all patients' vital signs, significantly improving patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2599-2607
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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