Also, I've gone back to the origins of this blog ... reviewing patents. The first patent I reviewed was one from Medtronic. Here's the link: http://medicalremoteprogramming.blogspot.com/2009/09/medtronics-remote-programming-patent.html
The issue raised of particular interest was the high "false alarm" rate generated reported by the author that would lead medical professionals to disregard warnings generated by their computer systems. I wrote that I wanted to follow-up on the issue of false alarms.
The patent application (the application has been published, but a patent has not yet been granted) describes an invention intended to 1) perform continuous automated monitoring and 2) lower the rate of false alarms.
Here are the details of the patent application so that you can find it yourself if you wish:
The continuous monitoring process from a technical standpoint is not all that interesting or new. What is interesting is the process they propose to lower the false alarm rate and determine whether this process in turn will not lower the false negative rate.
Proposed Process of Lowering False Alarms
Getting through all the details of the patent application and trying to make sense of what they're trying to convey, the following is what I believe is the essence of the invention:
- Measurement a sensor indicates an adverse patient conditions and an alarm should be initiated.
- Before the alarm is initiated, the system cross-checks against other measurements that are:
sensor that detected the adverse condition, the measurement from the second sensor
would confirm the alarm condition or indicate that an alarm condition should not exist; or
2) from another sensor or sensors that take physiological measurements that would confirm
the alarm condition from the first sensor or indicate that an alarm condition should not
In this model at least two sensors must provide measurements that point to an alarm state.