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Short Tutorial:
"The Use of Mobile Technologies and Health Informatics for Disaster and Crisis Management"

Wireless technologies when combined with social networks and geographical information systems are having a prominent role in the coordination, communication, planning, response and management to some of the most devastating disaster scenarios we have witnessed in the last few decades. The ongoing Cholera Outbreaks in Haiti as a consequence of the massive earthquake that nation suffered in 2010 and the major Japanese earthquake / tsunami of March 2011 have produced some enormous damage and problems caused by the radiation leaks from some of their eastern side Nuclear Plants. The Medical and Public Health Information Sharing (MPHISE) Resilience System was developed by one of our colleagues from the IFMBE Citizen Safety and Security WG, Dr. Michael McDonald and provides through the use of social networks, IT and mobile devices in particular a complex yet simple system that provides authorities timely geospatial information as well as all types of epidemiology, surveillance and logistic information allowing them for better handling of these crisis while improving Public Health outcomes.

The purposes of this short tutorial are:

  • Explain the problems and challenges in the disaster management and mitigation arena
  • Discuss with the audience the solutions and how they are being used
  • Investigate other potential uses of the methodology


Dr Luis Kun, National Defense University

Short Bio

Luis Kun is the founding chair of the IEEE-USA Electronic Health Record and High Performance Computers and Communications working group and the committees on bioterrorism security medical technology policy and critical infrastructure protection. He lectures extensively and has served in the Distinguished Visitor Program for both the IEEE Computer Society and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.

Dr Kun is a professor at the National Defense University (see He received a BSEE, MSEE, and PhD in biomedical engineering from UCLA and spent 14 years at IBM. As senior IT advisor to the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Kun led HPCC and Telehealth efforts. As a distinguished Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control, he wrote the IT vision for the National Immunization Program.

A Fellow of the IEEE and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Dr Kun received the AIMBE' s first-ever Fellow Advocate Award in 2009. His IEEE-USA Citation of Honor Award reads, "For exemplary contributions in the inception and implementation of a health care IT vision in the US". Kun also received an Administrator' s Award of Merit "For exceptional dedication and professional achievement that have greatly enhanced the recognition of AHCPR' s research in the HPCC Program".


"Exploitation of parallel processing architectures on the server side to minimize computation complexity on the wireless client side"


Following the law of Moore, manufacturers of handheld devices, mainly mobile phones and PDAs, have focused their research and market competitiveness on the introduction of powerful and low-power electronic systems; embedded systems resembling more and more to general purpose computers. Although, this competition has benefited the consumer electronics market and has also positively affected other scientific topics (apart from communications and entertainment), a significant gap to meet medical purpose requirements was observed. The main reasons are the extensive size of data that should be processed on the device (e.g. a X-Ray generated image), the prohibitive processing time, and the poor characteristics of the overall system as a monitoring device (e.g. low screen resolution).

Without taking into account security issues, the above mentioned was the main reason (low processing power and high latency) not to adopt a wireless handheld device as a medical tool to remotely access data of the patient. However, the new trend of technology is to migrate all the processing power from the personal computer (including a handheld device) to infrastructures, such as the cloud or a grid of computers that are characterized by high performance, satisfactory security at a local level, and low maintenance cost. Although there is still a debate on whether such an option will benefit in long-term period enterprise needs, it may prove to be beneficial for medical purposes.

Considering the medical data and their form as a content that has to be delivered, at the tutorial it will be presented the way they may be meta-processed on a server so that they will become suitable for the display of the targeted handheld wireless device. In this first part of the tutorial, the applicable techniques and the configuration of the server will be reported. In the next part, the medical image will be considered as a critical object that is needed to be displayed in remotely monitoring (and/or viewing) a patient's condition. The third and final part, the tutorial focuses on the latter information and exhibits how parallel processing architectures from the server side, may be exploited to achieve a near real-time processing of the data. Considering a fair wireless data connection, the result is far better than that of the local processing of the data.

The tutorial focuses on existing technologies, which may offer rational cost of implementation. The massively processing architectures, which are referred throughout the tutorial, are the NVidia CUDA, widely found even in personal computers. The aim of the tutorial is to bridge the technologies of wireless communication, parallel computing and medical applications to indicate a low-cost solution and low-complexity implementation.

Tutorial Material

Participants to the tutorial will get:

  • the tutorial slides
  • a paper digest, proposing a set of basic papers related to the tutorial
  • CUDA C code for repeating the presented parallel medical image processing


Dr Athanasios P. Kakarountas, University of Central Greece

Short Bio

Dr. Athanasios Kakarountas (S'98-M'04) was born in 1973 at Lamia city, Greece, He holds a Diploma (1998) and a PhD (2004) in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Technological Educational Institute of Ionian Islands, holding a position for "Architectures for Embedded Computation Systems". He is also a visiting Professor at the University of Central Greece, at the Department of Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics. In parallel to his academic career, he has served as a Director for Strategic Development of the Patras Science Park (2007-2008), as a tutor and auditor of the educational material of the Hellenic Open University, and IT expert for the Region of Western Greece and the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) of the Greek Government (2007-2008).

His research interests are focused on VLSI Circuits & Systems Design, Low-power Design and/or Design-for-Test, Computer and Embedded Systems Architecture, and Design of Hardware Accelerators for a variety of applications (e.g. image processing, cryptography, medical devices etc.). As a researcher he has participated in 12 research projects funded by EU (FP6, FP7). He has published more than 60 articles in international journals and conference proceedings. His research has received 3 international awards and more than 200 citations. He is also the co-author of 4 chapters in technical books.

He is a member of IEEE since 2004 (student 1998), of IET and Senior Member of ACM. He serves IEEE as a volunteer with a plethora of activities. He is reviewer in 7 IEEE magazines and journals (TC, TPDS, TCAS-I, TCAS-II, TVLSI, TDSC, Computer) and a permanent reviewer in 11 IEEE conferences. He has been member of the Organizing Committee of IEEE ISCAS 2006, IEEE ETFA 2007, IEEE SWPC 2008, and IEEE ICECS 2010 and of the Technical Program Committee of IEEE MELECON 2010.

Dr. Kakarountas has served as Assistant Chair and Newsletter Editor of the Greece IEEE Joint CAS/SSCS Chapter (2004-2009). During his term at Greece IEEE CAS Chapter, the Greece IEEE Joint CAS/SSCS Chapter received in 2005 the "Best CAS Chapter of the Year" Award. Since 2007, he is the Counselor Professor at the IEEE Student Branch and the IEEE EMBS Student Club of the University of Central Greece. During 2008 and 2009 he has represented Greece at the IEEE Region 8 Committee (Greece delegate). Currently, he has been elected in the Board of the Greece IEEE Section and he is the Chairman of the Consumer Electronics Society - Greece Chapter.


University of Central Greece, Papasiopoulou 2-4, 351 00, Lamia, Greece
T: +30 22310 66900
F: +30 22310 66939
M: +30 6972 011677
Important Dates

Paper submission (Extended!)
5 June 2011

Special Session and Workshop Paper submission
30 June 2011

PhD Forum Abstract submission
5 September 2011

Travel Grant application deadline (Extended!)
15 July 2011

Acceptance notification
30 July 2011

Authors Registration (Extended!)
30 August 2011

Early Registration
5 September 2011

Camera-ready paper (Extended!)
30 August 2011

IEEE TBME Special Section
Extended versions of high-quality conference papers will be invited for publication in a

Special Section of the
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering

Technical Sponsorship
Technical Co-Sponsorship
Financial Co-Sponsorship