Designing Low-Cost Radio Frequency Based In-Patient Monitoring System for Low Resource Settings

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


Patients in critical condition are not well attended due to lack of adequate number of medical professionals and insufficient number of patient monitor machine in recovery room. This needs a system which resolves gap and improve continuous patient’s follow-up. The objective of this thesis is to design a low-cost radio frequency based central in-patient monitoring system to facilitate timely decision making for critical patients in recovery rooms in low resource setting hospitals. Also to compare the cost with the existing networked centrally managed patient monitoring system. This was done in three hospitals of Addis Ababa namely, Yekatit 12 Hospital Medical College, Zewditu Memorial Hospital and St. Paul Millennium Medical College were selected purposively. Data was collected using the structured interview guide and key informant interview was used to collect information from administrative provost, anesthesia case team coordinators and nurse of these hospital. Additionally Observation method was used to explore the situation in the recovery rooms of the hospital. Literature review was done to better understand the problem and identify an alternative solution and design. Radio Frequency (RF) based in-patient monitoring system was designed to transmit and receive the patient vital physiological signals collected from multiple sensors to a central room. The system basically contains blood pressure sensor, temperature sensor and heartbeat sensor in order to measure the vital signals and a microcontroller is used for processing the signal. The processed signal will be transmitted to the central microcontroller which is placed in the central monitoring room using radio frequency transceiver module. The microcontroller compares the value to know whether the received value is within or out of the expected physiological range. Finally, the result is displayed using a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen that is connected to the central microcontroller. The vital signal value will be interpreted and displayed in the central microcontroller room to alarm health care workers. Moreover, cost comparison was made with the networked centrally managed patient monitoring system and prototype was produced. In conclusion, it was possible to design and produce prototype a low cost radio frequency based central in-patient monitoring system with a cheaper cost.



Patient Monitor, Microcontroller, RF, Vital Signs, Trans-receiver