Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Last week, I spent most of my time working on the journal. I made changes based on the feedback suggested by Rafa, Shiping and Surya to the best of my ability and have submitted a second version for review. The deadline is only 2.5 weeks away so I'm working really hard on this as well as the book chapter.
In regards to the book chapter, I have nearly completed the write-up. I need to fill in about 3 more pages which may take about a week or so. After this I will need to quickly finalise and send to my supervisors for feedback. This will be due a week after the journal so there is plenty of writing to do.
Also, I will submit the 3rd milestone "Extended Literature Review" by the end of this week as I believe I may have done enough. I will continue to post updates as they occur...

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Journal publication
I have managed to successfully finish a first draft of the journal publication. I have received comments and feedback as well as corrections from Rafael and Shiping. Overall, I have made a good start but still need to make a number of improvements to the journal. I will be working on the journal through this week and next week to get a second draft out.

Book Chapter
The book chapter is progressing along well. I have nearly completed a first draft of the book chapter. So far, it's touching on 14 pages without diagrams with 83 references. I've spent this week writing the key management and data sharing sections. I still have a lot of reading to do as I don't believe I have enough literature reading. My goal is to reach near 20 pages with ~100 references. The remainder of this week will be spent adding diagrams, tidying up, adding a conclusion and catching up on reading. The next week I will spend reading more literature and adding them into the book chapter before I send the final draft to my supervisors.

HeartBeat ECG System 
Although I haven't been spending too long on this, I am still looking into developing an automated analysis of ECG data for the HeartBeat system. I have read the thesis although I am struggling a bit to get my head around it. I am still yet to understand the MIT-BIH ECG data. I need to put a bit more time and effort into this and will work on it during next week.

Probation Milestones
I am currently working on writing an extended and modified literature review as per the requirements of the PhD probation. At the moment, it is not too dissimilar to the book chapter and is still a work-in-progress.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Journal publication
I have manage to finish a first draft of the journal publication so far. I spent yesterday running tests and grabbing screenshots as well as generating graphs to add in to the publication. This morning I managed to finish up the writing of the journal. I've sent the draft to my supervisors for early feedback and awaiting a response.

Book Chapter
I'm still continuing to write the book chapter. I have finished writing half of the chapter and there is still plenty more work to go. I still need to finish off the key management and the data sharing sections of the chapter. Although moving slowly, progress is being made on it every day.

Developed HeartBeat System
I've managed to get a clearer ECG waveform on the app now. It's still not perfect but still there is work to be done. I've also implemented visualisation of the ECG in the Java Client application. The client can now view, copy, and even save the ECG visualisation to a PNG image file. Also, the client can print the ECG visualisation for offline viewing and analysis.
Also, I'm still working on implementing automated ECG waveform analysis. I'm currently reading a past student's thesis to get idea and have looked at MIT-BIH website. I can try to implement something once I get a clear ECG waveform from the app. I will be looking at my code again to see where I can improve and try to get a smoother curve.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Regarding my progress so far, I am currently doing plenty of writing. I have nearly finished writing the journal and still making progress writing the book chapter. The last few weeks were mostly spent reading literature and writing in parallel.

I also presented a demo of the heart beat system to the Chief Scientist at CSIRO where my supervisor and a number of other CSIRO members were present. It was recommended that I try to produce a clearer ECG waveform and learn to classify the ECG waveform to detect any arrhythmias. I was given a past student's thesis to read and get a better understanding of ECG waveforms. It was also recommended that I look at 'MIT-BIH' as a reference for classifying ECG waveforms. Currently I am reading through the papers and will later change my application to incorporate these ideas.

Also, this week I attended the CSIRO ICT conference for a short while and met a few other PhD students working on different projects. Also, this week I submitted the first milestone deliverable to Rafael.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Reading Literature and Writing Papers

After developing the app, I have started writing a journal paper on it. I'm targeting the Future Generation Computer Systems (IF=1.978) Special Issue on Integration of Cloud Computing and Body Sensor Networks. So far I have written a full draft of the paper with some testing still left to complete. At the moment I have about 9 pages and trying to push for another 3 or 4 pages.

Also, I have been invited by my supervisor to contribute a book chapter for "Security, Privacy and Trust in Cloud Systems". I have submitted a proposal and now working on the writing of the book chapter. I realise I have a long way to go to finish the chapter. Working at fast pace..

Regarding the health-monitoring system, it is now a functional prototype and I will be giving a demo this Friday. The Android app now successfully connects the sensor via Bluetooth and reads the live streaming data. The app also has a user interface and buttons that will allow periodic uploads of the latest streamed data to the Cloud. The web service has been updated to allow user authentication. I've also created a Java application which runs on the Client's computer that will enable either a doctor or a patient to log-in and view ECG data through calls to the web service. At the moment, the security layer hasn't been implemented, and it is sending credentials and data through plain XML. Later on, I will implement a security layer that will incorporate secure data sharing aspects. I have come up with a draft idea of a data sharing protocol which will later be further refined. The protocol will be discussed in detail in the journal.

Much more work ahead...

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Developing an App for Health Application

I have spent the last few weeks working on developing an app for ECG monitoring. I haven't posted progress on it for a while as I have been busy but I will hopefully cover much of what I have done so far. 

I have narrowed down my topic to secure data sharing in cloud computing. I will be targeting to publish a paper in the 'Health Information Science and Systems' journal. Currently there is a growing need for patients to monitor their health wherever they are. In particular, a lot of people need to monitor their heart regularly to prevent problems such as cardiac arrhythmias. There are many heart activity monitors that are currently available today. For this project, I was given the 'Alive Heart Rate and Activity Monitor' which streams live electrocardiogram(ECG) data via bluetooth. The patient has to connect sensors to their body and start the monitor and then they can continue to carry on with their daily lives while the device monitors ECG of the patient. 

My goal was to develop an iPad app that receives this data via bluetooth and allows the patient to store this data to the cloud at regular intervals. First the patient connects the sensors and starts the monitor. The iPad app then must receive this data via bluetooth by the tap of a button. The patient can then customise information in the app such as length of periodic interval, etc and then tap the 'Upload data' button which will then send this data to the cloud via web services. The doctor, patient, nurse and/or other parties who have permission to access patient data and determine whether there are problems with the patient. This allows the doctor to be in a remote location and monitor the patient and doesn't require the patient to come to a hospital unless urgently required.

The past few weeks I have been working on implementing a simple working version of this. However, I stumbled upon an issue where iOS devices do not support the type of bluetooth connection that was supported in the heart monitor. The heart monitor only supported the Bluetooth SPP (see The iOS devices does not include support for this (cf. After further research, there was another way, and this involved registering for the 'Made for iPod' program (, gaining approval and then adding an additional Mac chip into the monitor. This was unfeasible since this is additional overhead on the patient side. After consulting with peers, another method was to jailbreak the iPad and installing a BTStackGPS program which allows streaming of bluetooth data via SPP. Currently, I have still yet to try this method. 

After consulting with my supervisor, another workaround was to use another tablet. I was provided an Eee Pad which provides an Android based platform. After looking through the API's, Android provided a comprehensive API for bluetooth and had good support for Bluetooth SPP. I have successfully implemented  a simple working app that reads live streams from the Heart Monitor.

This week I will attempt to decipher the meaning of the streamed bytes and extract useful information from the stream. I will then provide a button that will send this information to the cloud via web services. For testing purposes, I will use a local database and use Apache Tomcat to host the web services and run the web services and the Eee Pad app will call the web services to the localhost server. I will also attempt to come up with a data model to enable secure data sharing.

I will continue to post regular updates as they occur.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Over the last week, I spent time on trying to understand Objective-C needed for iPad programming. It's still a little confusing but I'm starting to get the hang of it slowly. I managed to create simple apps for the iPad. I will continue working on this and hopefully by next week, I will be able to start consuming some simple web services on the iPad. 

In terms of web services, I have a more thorough understanding about it now. The tutorials seemed to have helped.

I've also spent some time learning about Google App Engine and web services. I've managed to create a web service that will allow a user to store a file onto Google's datastore. The client (a Java application) was created that calls the web service to check if a user is logged in. If the user is logged in,  the client application will allow the user to choose a file on their system to upload onto Google datastore. The chosen file will then be encrypted and the encrypted file and its corresponding key are sent via SOAP to the web service, which will then store the data onto datastore. I have managed to complete all this. However, I have come across some problems: file bytes can't exceed 500 characters and hence this only works for very small files. I will look into this problem and see if there is a workaround. Will update once this issue is resolved. Once this is done, the file retrieval process will then take place and later on I can look at the concept of file sharing and collaboration amongst friends, etc.

Also this week, I prepared and attended the Research Methods Workshop, which is compulsory for my degree. I managed to write a draft literature review and draft proposal. On the day of the workshop, I learnt many useful things about writing literature reviews and proposals. Dr George Ridgway, facilitator of the workshop, shared some very interesting tips and kept us engaged with the activities and tasks and overall I found the workshop extremely useful. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

I've spent the last week carrying out tutorials on programming with the iPad/iPhone. I've managed to successfully create a simple 'Hello World' app but have not yet configured it to run on the iPad. As suggested by Suraj, I will speak to Kelvin to grant me access rights and to obtain the developer certificate that will allow me to test apps on the iPad. I'm still trying to get my head around the code.

I've also continued to learn about web services and SOAP. I've spent a lot of time creating a simple web application and web service using Java and Google App Engine. I am attempting to create an application that encrypts the users file and store the file and encryption key in Google's Blogstore Service. So far, I have created a web service that checks if a user is registered, and have yet to write methods for storing the file, and downloading the file. I have also managed to successfully call the web service using SOAP. I've learnt so much about web services already!

I've also started the writing of the draft literature review and thinking about how I'm going to structure the literature review.

I will continue to spend this week learning the Objective-C programming language on Xcode. I will also continue to spend more time writing the draft literature review and maybe get started on the draft proposal.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Understanding code

I've spent the last week trying out different tutorials related to Web Services. I felt confident enough to try and run the HeartBeatWS application.  However, after many attempts I still could not configure it to run successfully. I was still confused with how to run the application.

Finally, I've managed to pinpoint the issue with the project. I found that the project was initially built using Axis 1.4. I was using Axis2 and from online research, I found that Axis2 was a significant rewrite of the original Axis1 framework. I then created the HeartBeat web service using Axis1 and have managed to successfully run and invoke the web services. I also had to make some minor adjustments to the code such as changing the endpoint on the HeartBeatWS client to reflect the correct web service location.

 I've spent most of this week and last week reading and understanding the HeartBeatWS code. I am beginning to get familiar with the running of the code. Suraj Pandey also sent me a publication paper related to the application and that helped me further understand the code.

I will now spend the rest of the week researching and understanding iPad app development and play around with Xcode on an Apple PC at CSIRO and then look at the Visual Studio solution. There's still a lot of work to be done yet!

Friday, 18 May 2012

I spent the last week trying to understand the HeartBeatWS code. It's still very confusing to get my head around. 
I've spent some time looking at other code and tutorials related to web services and wsdl. It's all coming back now since I worked on web services previously for the TrustStore application but the HeartBeat application seems a lot more complex!
I'll continue to spend more time trying to figure out the code and doing more tutorials!

Friday, 4 May 2012