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Fingertips of the Network: Featherweight Communicators and Sensors

Christian, Andrew; Hicks, Jamey; Avery, Brian; Kuris, Ben; Denning, Don; Ayer, Steven; Ankcorn, John


Keyword(s): featherweight devices; wireless communications; low- power operation; 802.15.4; health care

Abstract: Hewlett-Packard has a business opportunity in low- power, general-purpose, networked, 'featherweight' computing devices that act as sensors or user interaction tools. We have designed and built a set of very small devices targeted to hospital applications. The first device assists caregivers with patient management in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Each patient in the unit has a battery-powered wireless 'clipboard' that stores and displays medication plans, messages, and other patient-specific information. The clipboards use IR to communicate with Pocket PC iPAQs carried by the staff and low-power 802.15.4 radios to communicate with a back-office data server. Hospital trials commence in 2005. In conjunction with MIT; a later deployment is planned for hospital emergency room patients. Notes: Presented at HP TechCon 2005, 20-23 March 2005

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