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Fall 1999



DISC Demos Medical Records WLAN


Last semester, a team of Virtual Corporation students demonstrated the first working prototype of a Virginia Tech wireless medical information system.

The system enables users to access medical records on an interactive, JAVA data base, with a data rate of 1.6 MBS using wireless modems that have a range of 300 feet. The prototype was designed to be used at Tech's Schiffert Student Health Center, where student medical records are currently paper-based.

"Using our Java Client/Server application doctors can use wireless handheld computers to access real-time information about their patients," said Wesley Rios, (CpE, '00), who served as director of the wireless team last semester. "This will increase productivity and quality of patient care by eliminating patient treatment delays, redundant paperwork, and potential transcription errors," he added.

"By using RF technology to rapidly send and receive data over the airwaves, our WLAN enables portable and mobile PC users to seamlessly access a network from anywhere within the building. Each doctor or nurse can roam freely and still be fully connected to all the resources of a wired network," he explained.

The software, WLAN, and database were designed and developed by a multidisciplinary team of students in the Distributed Information Systems Corporation (DISC), a division of Tech's Virtual Corporation program. DISC is dedicated to developing solutions in the field of medical informatics.

"As a student-run corporation, we are always looking for ways to enhance our learning curve," said T. Korey Leslie (MGT, '00), the current president of DISC. "Schiffert Health Center gave us that chance when they opened their doors to our testing. Thanks in part to their support, DISC has been able to move forward to the development of a fully functional product."

The wireless team included Jason Glovier (CpE, '00), Bart Matinpour (EE, '00), Marcus Menezes (ISE, '00), and Douglas Roark (CpE, '02). The team worked with the Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG) and the Center for Wireless Telecommunications (CWT) to set up the WLAN.

The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech

Last Updated, October 15, 1999
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