The university has developed a range of wireless sensor technologies with IBM to assist the elderly and infirm to increase their independence and maintain a better quality of life.
Interactive healthcare systems are designed to provide hospitals, labs and doctors with the data they need to effectively monitor patients remotely.
The systems are designed to register events such as an unacceptable jump in blood pressure, as well as tie the events into the overall picture of a person's healthcare and fitness programmes.
Devices used to monitor a diabetic's blood pressure and glucose levels, for example, could store the generated vital-signs data and transmit it in a standard format to the healthcare providers via the web.
"Working with IBM, the University of Florida is dedicated to designing new services-oriented programming models that help system integrators and enterprises focus on higher-level functionality and provide higher levels of abstraction in a given physical realm," said Dr Sumi Helal, professor of computer and information science and engineering at the University of Florida.
"By bridging the physical and digital realms with a known service or set of services, we will unlock the potential to enable the next generation of internet-based enterprise systems."
The overall aim is to provide a roadmap that details ways of extending the system to all kinds of wired and wireless devices.
The team believes that by using open standards in the embedded-device and IT domains, this technology will enable automatically recognised devices to send the information they gather to authorised personnel.
This would provide patient status updates, and alert the authorities in the event of an emergency.
"While the monitoring and control of physical environments is not new, embedded-systems developers have traditionally built complex systems in closed environments," said Richard Bakalar, chief medical officer at IBM.
"The University of Florida and IBM see the need and the opportunity to integrate the physical world of sensors and other devices directly into enterprise systems.
"Doing so in an open environment will remove the market inhibitors that impede innovation in critical industries like healthcare, and open a broader device market fuelled by uninterrupted networking."
The systems could also be applied to a broad set of industries outside healthcare, such as wholesalers, retailers and distributors, military control centres and shippers of hazardous materials.
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