Technical Aspects of Closing the Loop in Depth-of-Anesthesia Control
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Technical Aspects of Closing the Loop in Depth-of-Anesthesia Control

Authors: Gorazd Karer

Abstract:

When performing a diagnostic procedure or surgery in general anesthesia (GA), a proper introduction and dosing of anesthetic agents is one of the main tasks of the anesthesiologist. That being said, depth of anesthesia (DoA) also seems to be a suitable process for closed-loop control implementation. To implement such a system, one must be able to acquire the relevant signals online and in real-time, as well as stream the calculated control signal to the infusion pump. However, during a procedure, patient monitors and infusion pumps are purposely unable to connect to an external (possibly medically unapproved) device for safety reasons, thus preventing closed-loop control. This paper proposes a conceptual solution to the aforementioned problem. First, it presents some important aspects of contemporary clinical practice. Next, it introduces the closed-loop-control-system structure and the relevant information flow. Focusing on transferring the data from the patient to the computer, it presents a non-invasive image-based system for signal acquisition from a patient monitor for online depth-of-anesthesia assessment. Furthermore, it introduces a User-Datagram-Protocol-based (UDP-based) communication method that can be used for transmitting the calculated anesthetic inflow to the infusion pump. The proposed system is independent of medical-device manufacturer and is implemented in MATLAB-Simulink, which can be conveniently used for DoA control implementation. The proposed scheme has been tested in a simulated GA setting and is ready to be evaluated in an operating theatre. However, the proposed system is only a step towards a proper closed-loop control system for DoA, which could routinely be used in clinical practice.

Keywords: Closed-loop control, Depth of Anesthesia, DoA, optical signal acquisition, Patient State index, PSi, UDP communication protocol.

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