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Mozilla Ignite Round 2 - Development Roadmap & History

posted Jan 13, 2013, 2:22 PM by Amr Ali   [ updated Jan 19, 2013, 10:34 AM ]

We successfully submitted the Mozilla Ignite round 2 development application and below is a reflection of our progress and research.  Since round 1, we focused on the functionality of our application and incorporated the judges feedback into our design.  We decided to focus on the EKG sensor and the develop a platform for monitoring patients diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation (AF).  This has been a very exciting time because we managed to make good progress developing the application and communicating the information to the cloud.  The main focus of the previous round was to demonstrate the ability to acquire a signal from a wireless device and display the information in a graphical manner on the phone.  In this round, we added more functionality to our application and included the ability to push data to our back-end using Amazon Web Services (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3).

Application (front-end) Development:
In this round, we decided to focus more on functionality than the user-experience.  We plan to demonstrate the application and the service to doctors and patients to gather their input and create a more user friendly graphical interface.  The application will have two separate login screens; one for the doctor and one for the patient.  In the future, we may decide to separate the two roles into separate mobile applications, but for simplicity in the current round, we decided to include both roles in one application. While developing this application, we also incorporated our vision into some of the buttons and views that are not functional at the moment but will be by round 3 of the Mozilla Ignite competition.  

The Patient:

Patients can: 
  • Download the euMetrica app on their personal smartphones
  • Create a user profile
  • Connect wireless EKG device to the application 
  • In future, connect other wireless devices to the application such as a pulse oximeter 
  • Test and monitor heart signal 
  • In future, test and monitor blood oxygen levels 
  • Share access to AF condition tracking with healthcare providers and caregivers 
  • Communicate with doctors via phone or HIPAA-compliant messaging system 
  • Receive notifications and calls-to-action
The patient will have the ability to acquire EKG signal by going into the devices tab and picking the EKG sensor.  The next step is to acquire the data and display the output on the phone for the patient to view as shown in the figure below.  The patient and the doctor will also have the ability to see the full signal history if he or she desires.  

After the patient completes the reading and accepts the data, it will be pushed automatically to the AWS cloud and stored there.  Our vision in round 3 and the future is to introduce analysis and complex event processing in the cloud using the uploaded data.  We can then send notifications and alerts to the doctor and patients if an arrhythmia or an irregularity is detected.  In this sense, we provide assistance to the doctors by monitoring all their patients at any point in time while they can focus on patients in critical conditions.  The patient also has the ability to retake the test again if they think that something wrong happened.  

We also included the ability for the patient to add devices as well as sending and receiving notifications from the doctor and get in contact with the healthcare provider easily.  One of our goals is to enhance the patient-healthcare provider communication using this application and prevent possible readmissions as shown in the figure below.  

The Doctor:

Doctor/healthcare provider can:
  • Download the euMetrica app on their personal smartphones 
  • Create a user profile 
  • Track AF patients and flag specific patients as ‘urgent care’ (favorites) 
  • View patients’ wireless EKG results 
  • In future, view patients’ wireless pulse oximeter results 
  • Communicate with patients via phone or HIPAA-compliant messaging system 
  • Receive notifications concerning patients’ test results and well-being 
The doctor role contains functionality that specifically focuses on viewing the data, organizing patients and setting up alerts that will be used in the future to be relayed to the complex event handling process. The doctor has the ability to go into each patient's profile and view the raw EKG signal and make an assessment based on their condition.  They have the ability to take notes, view patient's history and send messages. This functionality helps us achieve this goal and provides the opportunity for doctors to remotely communicate and view patients' health status effectively as shown below. 

Cloud (back-end) Development:
We explored many options for back-end functionality including Splunk and Parse.  Although these platforms provide a graphical user interface to analyze and view the information stored on the cloud, they all relay back to Amazon Web Services (AWS).  Therefore, we started exploring the AWS APIs and wrote some exploratory mobile and computer applications to test our ability to interface with AWS.  We were successful in pushing information to the AWS cloud service and furthermore decided to use it for our back-end instead of Splunk and Parse. 

At first, we tested the application by simply uploading a photograph and a text file containing mockup data of our EKG signal from the computer using the AWS API.  This gave us insight on the functionality and the work-flows that we have to follow for AWS.  The next step we took is to push mockup data from the phone using the Android API to the cloud and access the data successfully.  Once we have achieved confidence in using the AWS API functions and calls, we went forth to connect the bluetooth enabled EKG sensor and acquired data that was then pushed to the cloud.  This was challenging at first as the interface with the EKG device was complex.  However, after meeting with the manufacturer, we managed to understand how to gather the raw signal from the device and store the information in a text file that can then be pushed to the cloud.  

Future Direction:

For the third development round, we aim to incorporate real-time analytics into the Amazon Web Services back-end, an iPhone application and an HTML5 web app be used as a dashboard. As we research additional use-cases and devices throughout the development process, we will seek to offer those sensor choices to the individual and caregiver. The mobile application will provide a functional and intuitive user interface for patients to acquire measurements, share the information with their care provider as well as receiving messages and notifications.  The application will also enhance the communication with the healthcare provider by providing critical real-time measurements that will improve the patients’ health and prevent possible complications. Please see our project website for more description on the technologies being used in the front and back ends of the system.