Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2016.



First Advisor

Unyoung Kim


Innovation in health care in the developing world has seen vast improvements over the last few decades. As technology has continued to rapidly improve, the use of mobile devices and cellular networks has dramatically increased in developing countries, revolutionizing economical and health applications. Telemedicine is defined by the World Health Organization as the use of electric signals via information and communication technology to provide health care and allow for the exchange of medical records in environments that lack access to adequate health care. Distance has become increasingly irrelevant as advancements in telemedicine allow for patients to video conference with a healthcare professional, or take pictures of an ailment and send them to the professional for diagnosis.

Our team aims to improve telemedicine techniques by allowing the doctor(s) involved to have access to a patient's vital signs quickly and simply enough that a healthcare professional does not need to be present. The technology would allow for a better and more efficient diagnosis of the patient. We created a kit equipped with sensors that will be used to take a patient’s vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen concentration. This frugal vital sign kit will, in the future, have the capacity to send the information to an integrated mobile application that would synchronize the patient’s vitals with their medical records and deliver the information to their doctor. The information currently is read using a computer connected to the system by a USB cable.

We began by creating our device based on research of current, similar devices on the market. As we developed our system, human subject testing needed to be conducted in order to improve its accuracy. Our results proved that human testing aided in the accuracy of our system, yet we did not achieve the amount of accuracy we had hoped. In order to do so, a larger sample size would be needed for human testing. We concluded that a frugal vital sign system with integration to telemedicine is indeed possible, and should provide a meaningful way for people in underdeveloped areas to get the healthcare they need.

SCU Access Only

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