New health center extends reach

By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-08-21 07:08

GUANGHZOU: The nation's first rehabilitation and research center for heart, lung and brain diseases has set up shop in this southern province, aiming to offer timely treatment to patients, especially those suffering from cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases.

As part of its efforts to provide immediate care to cerebrovascular and cardiovascular patients, the center will soon implement a province-wide remote wireless monitoring system.

"The system is aimed at avoiding sudden death, which often happens to cerebrovascular and cardiovascular patients," said Huang Zitong, deputy director of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University.

The system relies on a special medical device called a "remote life information monitor", which is implanted in the bodies of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular patients.

"The device, which is just like a cell phone, has four inductors to detect irregularities, such as potentially fatal health problems, and then send the information to the monitoring center," Huang said.

"If an abnormal situation is discovered, we will immediately call hospitals near the patient to offer timely treatment. In this way, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular patients will face a decreased risk of sudden death," Huang told China Daily yesterday.

The number of people suffering from cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases has been rising during the last five decades, Huang said.

"Cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases pose a high risk since they could lead to an unexpected death. But if we detect them early enough and provide immediate medical treatment, the patients will have more chances for survival," Huang said.

Huang said the rehabilitation and research center is currently working with medical institutions located in residential areas in the coastal city of Shenzhen to implement the remote wireless monitoring system.

"The system will mainly be promoted in areas that have a large number of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular patients. After Shenzhen, it will be implemented in Guangzhou," Huang said.

Shenzhen's Bao'an District has so far invested some 10 million yuan ($1.3 million) to implant the remote wireless devices in cerebrovascular and cardiovascular patients in four residential communities.

(China Daily 08/21/2007 page5)

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