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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 145-166
Research Article

GumPack: A Personal Health Assistant with Reconfigurable Surface Components

Kejia Li and Steve Warren

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA

Received 1 September 2012; Accepted 1 November 2012

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Wearable and everyday-carry medical devices can improve quality of life for individuals that need frequent health monitoring. Such tools can supplement ubiquitous home care environments populated with medical sensors, extending the reach of these environments and increasing the freedom of their occupants. This paper presents the concept design for an everyday-carry medical device called a ‘GumPack’: a small cuboid-shaped device that offers wireless connectivity and plug-and-play surface components, where a component can be a biomedical sensor or a wireless network coordinator that manages a body area network. This geometrical layout optimizes access to surface-based medical hardware mounted on a small form factor. The device offers substantive computing power, supports local component reconfigurability, and promotes interoperability with medical device coordination environments. The GumPack is envisioned to be a personal health assistant carried in a pocket or handbag that can operate alone or interface to, e.g., a cell phone.