How AI and cameras revolutionized remote patient monitoring

Remote patient monitoring is now a key application in medical spaces where cameras and AI are revolutionizing the delivery of care. This article will thus discuss how the two technologies work together to make life easier for patients and caregivers.

How AI and cameras revolutionized remote patient monitoring

Image Credit: e-con Systems

The adoption of artificial intelligence is on the rise across all sectors. Though current AI cannot compete with the cognitive ability of the human brain, it has already started to dominate when it comes to performing mundane as well as intelligent tasks – and the medical field is not an exception to this.

It has been captivating to see new and emerging applications and use cases where AI works in harmony with other technologies to enhance human experiences. One such application in the medical field is remote patient monitoring, in which AI leverages image and video data captured using camera modules to automate a series of tasks.

Looking at these two technologies more closely can reveal how AI has helped improve the patient and caregiver experience. These insights can also be used to see what the future may look like for remote patient monitoring when it comes to the extended use of AI and cameras.

The old Vs the AI-enabled way of doing remote patient monitoring

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is not a new concept and has been around for some time. Yet, the pandemic has accelerated (or rather forced) system implementation in healthcare facilities.

However, conventional RPM involves setting up a camera to stream the video over a network to transmit to a display in another location for manual monitoring. Though it can assist in patient monitoring,  staff still needed to be available to view the display 24/7. These systems also lack any kind of analysis capabilities via leveraging the data captured on the stream.

This is where AI can change things completely. The application of AI in remote patient monitoring has made it possible to automate the process while collecting data that can then be fed into various types of predictive ML (machine learning) based models for inferencing.

The role of AI and cameras in enhancing the effectiveness of remote patient monitoring devices

To effectively apply AI in remote patient monitoring scenarios, an evolution in embedded vision and camera technology was required. From high-resolution cameras to NIR cameras and RGB-IR cameras, innovative embedded cameras have facilitated the capture of high-quality images regardless of the lighting conditions in the patient’s room.

Remote patient monitoring is contingent on one or more suitable digital imaging solutions that can be integrated into hospital networks. It enables health workers to monitor several patients and clinical teams to evaluate patient conditions from a remote location.

By taking advantage of artificial intelligence, remote patient monitoring is advancing, going from basic monitoring to performing behavioral analyses such as fall detection, tracking patient movements, monitoring people in a room, and much more.

The patient’s behavior is then analyzed and categorized in accordance with frameworks like PeopleNet to prevent any future falls from occurring.

Example scenario

Picture a highly sedated patient trying to wake up from a hospital bed. An AI model trained to detect when patients are moving from a minimally conscious state can alert a caretaker or nurse for immediate attention.

This is facilitated by continuously capturing the patient’s behavior via video using the camera in the RPM device, thereby feeding the AI model with the appropriate image and video data.

The complete automation of this process using cameras and AI gives the following advantages:

  • Prevents the chance of human negligence or error while monitoring, particularly in case of a patient fall.
  • Eliminates the need for 24/7 manual monitoring. 

The camera selection process is a crucial component when it comes to developing an AI-based remote patient monitoring system. It is advised to always enlist the help of an imaging expert such as e-con Systemsso that they can help explain the camera evaluation, selection, and integration stages. 

Cameras and AI in remote patient monitoring – what the future looks like

While remote patient monitoring has been a key innovation in medical care applications, it still raises questions related to patient privacy. This is due to the fact that patient video data will be streamed over a network and stored for analysis.

As this data is extremely sensitive and there is not much control over how it will be used, not all patients are comfortable with this method of monitoring.

This is likely to give rise to the adoption of 3D depth mapping technologies in remote patient monitoring applications. By leveraging 3D depth cameras, including time of flight or stereo cameras, it is possible to monitor patient movement by collecting depth data rather than color data or real video via a continuous stream. 

Using this depth data, the AI algorithm can still be trained to detect falls. This improves patient privacy while still offering them peace of mind. 

e-con Systems is already prepared for such a change by offering 3D depth cameras, including:

  • DepthVista – 3D time of flight camera
  • Tara – USB stereo camera 

In addition to advances in camera technology, AI algorithms are fast becoming more sophisticated. This means an increasing number of product developers will devise innovative use cases for remote patient monitoring.

With cameras and AI algorithms consistently improving, rapid changes are happening in patient monitoring applications. e-con Systems is thrilled to be able to be a part of new innovations by developing specialized camera solutions for RPM devices. 

Having already worked with multiple remote patient monitoring device manufacturers, e-con Systems has helped oversee a smooth transition by integrating its cameras into various systems. As e-con Systems’ cameras come with a 3-year warranty means that its customers can rest assured that their purchases are durable and will have a long life cycle. 

To learn more about integrating cameras into a product, contact e-con Systems today or visit the Camera Selector to look at e-con’s complete portfolio of cameras.

About e-con Systems

e-con Systems™  is a product company focused on OEM products with the sole motive to help customers to speed up the time to market. Founded in 2003, e-con Systems has been a pioneer in the OEM Cameras and Computer on module products. Camera modules include standalone MIPI camera modules and USB cameras. e-con Systems notable contribution has been in the launch of the World's first UVC Compatible USB 3.0 camera. e-con Systems was also the world's first standalone Stereo camera supplier. System on modules include processors from NVIDIA, NXP(Freescale) and Texas Instruments. These Computer on modules have support for Android and Linux.

e-con Systems™ has close partnerships with Cypress Semiconductor, NVIDIA, Xilinx, Sony, Omnivision, ONSemi/Aptina and Texas Instruments. e-con Systems™ ships globally to 83 countries in the world including United States, Germany, Belgium, France, UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore etc.

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Last updated: Mar 14, 2023 at 10:44 AM


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