Researchers at the National University of Singapore have demonstrated a novel type of signal architecture that could make robotic and prosthetic electronic skins much faster and more robust than today’s sequentially sampled tactile sensor arrays.
Instead of relying on time-divisional multiple access to reconstruct a two-dimensional map of pressure / temperature distribution, the researchers chose an event-based signal architecture, where sensors asynchronously transmit data upon value changes.
This is similar to the skin’s biological mechanoreceptors, their source of inspiration, which can fire spike signals asynchronously and form very precise spatiotemporal patterns that reach the brain at a constant latency for sensory interpretation.
To achieve the smoothest possible exchange of information, it is essential to adopt standards for the different health systems to share. For this reason, several organizations seeking to unify interoperability criteria have arisen, such as HL7 International, HIMSS o NEMA.
In messaging for example, they have developed standards that define the format and structure of data elements to facilitate communication between different clinical systems. Among these are:
HL7 V2.X, HL7 V3 to exchange demographic, clinical and administrative data.
DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) that defines the way to communicate diagnostic images and information associated with these.
ASC-X12, which has been designed to exchange procedures, patient eligibility and benefit payments.
IEEE 1073, which determines the messages to exchange data with biomedical instrumentation equipment.
With regard to health terminology or data standards that add the semantic component, vocabularies and codes have been developed to label clinical concepts such as diseases, problem lists, diagnoses, drugs, techniques and procedures, analytical determinations and laboratories, among others. Some of these are:
ICD-10 or the International Classification of Diseases, that defines a catalog of diagnoses and procedures for statistical purposes, billing, costs and paperwork.
LOINC that is more oriented to laboratory tests, metrics and clinical observations.
SNOMED CT, which is a large ontology of biomedical concepts with descriptions, relationships and grammar to build clinical expressions.
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