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Communication Technology Advances the Life Sciences

Professor Joel Rodrigues discusses HEALTHCOM 2013, some breakthoughs that he expects in Health Communications, and his research work in the field.

IEEE tv: What are the key benefits of the Healthcom ’13 Conference?

Joel Rodrigues: IEEE Healthcom 2013 is bringing together interested parties from the world, working in the healthcare field to exchange ideas, to discuss innovative healthcare solutions, and to develop collaborations. The conference offers an excellent program and addresses the new frontiers of healthcare technologies, and brings together experienced people from academia, and also industry who come to Lisbon to share their expertise and new ideas. We also offer an expo with the key players around the world of health technologies. Furthermore, we offer our guests and attendees a social program where they can visit Lisbon and its surroundings; and have a pleasant time here in our beautiful capital.

IEEE tv: What health communications breakthroughs are exciting to you?

Joel Rodrigues: First of all, we identify mobile solutions, since with mobile health solutions we can offer, wirelessly, breakthrough solutions that increases the quality of life for our patients and their caretakers. On another important issue is the area of bio-sensing and all these issues related with bio-feedback and health parameters monitoring; mainly considering real-time applications and their implications in the patient’s quality of life. Another important issue comes from assisted living scenarios where we can offer enormous good solutions to our patients, and at the same time we can overlap to take care of enormous challenges presented by elderly people and at the same time, by chronic diseases. So I believe that in the near future patients can use, more and more, the technology in order to take care of their own health in order to prevent accidents, and at the same time trying to take care of their own health.

IEEE tv: How did you become interested in applying technology to Life Science problems?

Joel Rodrigues: I woke up to these problems upon my graduation, a long time ago, when I was young and started a serious relationship with my girlfriend at the time. She was a medicine student, and is now my wife. In fact, I performed the final graduation project at Coimbra University hospital, where I was working on an expert system to diagnose cancer. After I worked there in network and system administration, and they started a new university hospital at Covilhã, the city where I am living now, and where my university is located. So currently, in terms of research, I am researching health topics with my research group on things like mobile health technologies and applications and assisted living situations with mobility support. I am also working on mobile health solutions taking also into account, the importance of cloud computing for e-health also belong to my research topics.

IEEE tv: What advice can you offer students entering the Life Sciences field?

Joel Rodrigues: The students that decide to work in life sciences are very welcome to one of the most exciting research areas with many challenges and open issues. To perform good research on these topics, I believe it is important to have a strong background in several technologies since we try to create and demonstrate holistic solutions that make good contributions from different technologies. So, it is important that students know different kind of technologies in order to get the best solutions. We work on health information systems, computer networks, image processing, biometrics, body sensors, mobile solutions, human-device interaction, optimization. We can also use artificial intelligence, design optimization, etc. So summarizing, this research topic is very broad, with strong backgrounds in different technologies, but also from other science-related human science and behavior, has value to create better and innovative solutions to really help human life. It is important to mention that students really will enjoy working in this life science field since they will take the experience that they can help the life of handicapped people; they can really help the lives of people, in general.

IEEE tv: What message would you like to give the Life Sciences Community?

Joel Rodrigues: It is my great pleasure to share this message with my colleagues around the world. It is true that we belong to a very active community working on broad research topics that cover many issues related to the life sciences, and can also gather contributions for many areas – interoperability, integrating technologies and extracting the best from different worlds. I believe it is a major challenge. We work on the frontiers of new knowledge, and we are very pleased and motivated to create innovative solutions that will influence the health and the quality of life of the patients, and the people in general.

They are going to develop the devices that are mobile and with less and less size, including nano technology, offer new challenges for research topics, and new research problems are being identified. So, I believe that with new health information systems, social networks, and immediate, real-time communications the relationship among health professionals and patients are changing – then our community plays a key role in these developments. I would like to send to all the community a special greeting from Portugal, now here in Lisbon, at the IEEE Healthcom 2013 meeting of Life Sciences.

Thank you so much.


Contributor

Joel José P. C. RodriguesJoel José P. C. Rodrigues (S’01, M’06, SM’06) is a professor in the Department of Informatics of the University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal, and researcher at the Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal. He received a PhD degree in informatics engineering from the University of Beira Interior. His main research interests include sensor networks, e-health, e-learning, vehicular delay-tolerant networks, and mobile and ubiquitous computing. Read more

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December 2013 Contributors

Joel Josè P. C. RodriguesJoel José P. C. Rodrigues (S'01, M'06, SM'06) is a professor in the Department of Informatics of the University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal, and researcher at the Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal. He received a PhD degree in informatics engineering from the University of Beira Interior. His main research interests include sensor networks, e-health, e-learning, vehicular delay-tolerant networks, and mobile and ubiquitous computing. Read more

Hsi-Pin MaHsi-Pin Ma is an Associate Professor of Department of Electrical Engineering at National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. He received his Ph. D. from National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. His research interests include communications system design and SoC implementation, power efficient/energy efficient signal processing, and biomedical signal processing and system applications. Read more

Hung-Chih ChiuHung-Chih Chiu is a Ph. D. student in the National Tsing Hua University since 2011. His research interests include biomedical signal processing and Very-large-scale integration (VLSI). He received the master degree at National Central University in 2010. Read more

Yi-Lwun HoYi-Lwun Ho MD. PhD., is an associate professor of Department of Internal Medicine and also an adjunct associate professor of Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Medicine. He is a cardiologist and specialized in electro-physiologic studies of arrhythmia. One of his research emphases has been in telecare of cardiovascular diseases. He also used linear and non-linear analysis of heart rate variability to study the predictors of patients with heart failure. He is the Director of Heart Failure Center of NTU Hospital. He is also the Director of Tele-Health Center of NTU Hospital. Read more

Yen-Hung LinYen-Hung Lin MD, PhD is clinical assistant professor of Internal Medicine at National Taiwan University College of Medicine and attending physician of Department of Internal Medicine at National Taiwan University Hospital. Dr. Lin received his MD degree in School of Medicine, National Taiwan University and his PhD degree in Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, National Taiwan University. His research interests focus on cardiac and vascular function and structure change in primary aldosteronism, and biomarkers in various cardiovascular disease, including hypertensive heart disease, coronary artery disease, and heart failure Read more

E. KartsakliE. Kartsakli received her PhD in Wireless Telecommunications from the Technical University of Catalonia (BarcelonaTECH) She has participated in several national and European projects. Her research interests include wireless networking, channel access protocols and energy efficient communication protocols. Read more

Angelos AntonopoulosAngelos Antonopoulos received his Ph.D. from Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). He is currently working as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Smart Energy Efficient Communication Technologies (SMARTECH) area of the Telecommunications Technological Centre of Catalonia (CTTC) and his main research interests include cooperative communications, MAC protocols, network coding and energy efficient network planning. Read more

Stefano TenninaStefano Tennina received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Information Engineering from the University of L'Aquila, Italy. He is co-founder of WEST Aquila s.r.l. with the role of Senior Research Scientist. His research interests focus is in the area of wireless communication protocols/systems, with particular emphasis on experimentation activities in real working networks test-beds. Read more

Aris S. LalosAris S. Lalos received the Ph.D. degree in signal processing for wireless communications from the Computer Engineering and Informatics Department (CEID), School of Engineering (SE), University of Patras (UoP), Rio-Patras, Greece. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at signal theory and communication department, Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. Read more

Prodromos-Vasileios MekikisProdromos-Vasileios Mekikis holds a Master of Science in System on Chip design from Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) He is currently pursuing a PhD degree at the Signal Theory and Communications department (TSC) of the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). His main research interests include cooperative communications and large scale wireless sensor networks. Read more

Luis AlonsoLuis Alonso received the PhD from UPC (Barcelona) He is an Associate Professor at UPC. He is co-founder of the Wireless Communications and Technologies Research Group (WiComTec). His current research interests are within the field of medium access protocols, radio resource management, cross-layer optimization, cooperative transmissions, cognitive radio and QoS features for all kind of wireless communications systems. Read more

Fabio GraziosiFabio Graziosi received the Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering from the University of L'Aquila, Italy. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of WEST Aquila s.r.l.. He is also an Associate Professor at the University of L'Aquila, Italy. His current research interests are mainly focused on wireless communications systems with emphasis on wireless sensor networks. Read more

Marco Di RenzoMarco Di Renzo received the Ph.D. degree from the University of L'Aquila, Italy. He received the H.D.R. degree from the University of Paris-Sud XI, France. He is a faculty member of the Laboratory of Signals and Systems, a joint laboratory of CNRS, SUPELEC and the University of Paris-Sud XI, France. Read more

Christos VerikoukisChristos Verikoukis received his Ph.D. from the Technical University of Catalonia. He is currently the Head of the SMARTECH department at CTTC and he is an adjunct associate professor in the area of ICT for Healthcare at Barcelona University (UB). Read more