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Advantages of Biotelemetry | disadvantages of Biotelemetry

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Biotelemetry and its basics. It mentions benefits or advantages of Biotelemetry and drawbacks or disadvantages of Biotelemetry.

What is Biotelemetry?

The term Biotelemetry refers to branch of telemetry in which biological parameters are measured from a distance. The typical biological parameters include heart beats, blood pressure, body temperature, blood sugar content, respiration, amount of blood, type of blood etc.

There are many instances or applications in which it is necessary to monitor physiological events from a distance. The typical applications of biotelemetry include monitoring of space astronauts, patient monitoring from locations away from hospitals, Use of telephony lines for transmission of ECG and other medical data, monitoring of animals which are not visible, remote monitoring of heart beats with stethoscope and other external mechanism etc.

Telemetry system block diagram

The figure depicts block diagram of telemetry system. As shown transmitting side consists of transducer or sensor, signal conditioner-1 and transmitter part. Let us understand these modules. Transmit data passes through the transmission mediums such as copper wires, radio link, optical fiber link etc.
Transducer : It converts physical variable (or electrical parameter such as variable resistance, inductance or capacitance) into electrical quantity or signal (e.g. voltage or current).
Signal conditioner-1 : It converts electrical output into electrical signal compatible with next element i.e. transmitter part.
Transmitter : This part makes signal compliant to be transmitted over transmission medium. The typical functions performed by this module include modulation, amplification, signal conversion, multiplexing etc. Multiplexing such as TDM and FDM is used to measure multiple parameters from remote site.

The receiving side consists of receiver part, signal conditioner-2 and end device. Let us understand these modules.
Receiver : It is used to retrieve information from the received signal from the medium. Ampliiication, demodulation, signal conversion and demultiplexing (if used) at the transmitting end.
Signal conditioner-2 : It processes receiver output to make it suitable for the end device.
End device : Depending upon type of telemetry and its purpose, it may have analog or digital indication, Digital storage, data processing and closed loop control.

Biotelemetry system consists of sensors to sense particular bio-parameters, battery, radio transmitter and receiver and display unit.

There are various types of telemetry systems which are mainly categorized as analog telemetry and digital telemetry. The telemetry systems include light telemetry, ultrasonic telemetry, radio telemetry, telephonic telemetry, hydraulic telemetry, pneumatic telemetry, electrical telemetry (current/voltage), pulse telemetry (analog/digital) and so on based on their functions and mechanism.

Benefits or advantages of Biotelemetry

Following are the benefits or advantages of Biotelemetry:
➨The biotelemetry system is simple in architecture.
➨It does not require physical presence of doctors near the patients.
➨It provides first aid to the patients by remote monitoring of bio-parameters in realtime.
➨It saves money for the patients by avoiding unnecessary frequent trips.
➨It saves time for the doctors as all the bio-parameters of patients are available online on their mobile phones.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Biotelemetry

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Biotelemetry:
➨It does not give real time feelings to the patients and doctors both.
➨All the bio-parameters of the patients can not be monitored remotely due to complexity involved in some of the measurements.
➨The bio-parameter measurements is carried out one by one with multiple biotelemetry tools or equipments. Hence it requires more time to complete all the measurements. This is often cumbersome for patients and doctors both.
➨The facility to avail biotelemetry based equipments is very costly.
➨It requires training to use biotelemetry based equipments or tools.

Conclusion: In order to understand advantages of Biotelemetry and disadvantages of Biotelemetry one has to understand Biotelemetry basics.

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