Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Risk assessment for enhanced service provision projects

Project 4 - Embedded Intelligence for Mitigating Risks in the Healthcare Domain

The overall aim of the research is to determine if beacon technology is effaceable for use in community healthcare using a user focused system design approach. The short-term aim of the research is to provide knowledge on the use of this new technology within the home healthcare sector with a long-term goal of having this technology adopted for use in the homes of those who require care. This will be broken down into several more research questions such as “Can beacon technology provide a reliable telecare service to an occupant (detection of falls, blood oxygen levels, heart rate changes, body temperature changes, severely reduced movement, wandering in or outside the home environment)”, “Can beacon technology determine occupant activity patterns within their homes (Movement, sedentary, drinking/eating, darkness and light levels) reliably”, “Can beacon technology determine common factors through monitoring which may develop into old age related chronic diseases (dementia, reduced physicality, cognitive impairments)” and “How do users perceive the efficacy of beacon technology for healthcare (Could it improve patient quality of life or informal career quality of life)”.

The literature background of this project has primarily focused on ‘Smart home’, ‘Remote monitoring, ‘Wearable or stationary devices’, ‘Telehealth/care’ and ‘Elder healthcare’ research, however within these areas there is also considerable focus on ‘Sensors technology’, ‘Home augmentation technology’, ‘Medical monitors’, ‘Chronic illness monitoring’ and ‘System design methodology for healthcare’. Using this accumulated research this project aims to construct or augment beacons powered by Bluetooth light radio transmitters and a wrist worn ‘patient’ device with the view to measure the occupant’s daily life while being as simple to use and as least invasive as possible. Using beacon placement on walls or objects – they can be programmed by the user (patient, informal carer, doctors, nurses, therapists) to give objects and rooms a unique value. The occupant of the home or patient (who also has a unique value due to a wrist worn Bluetooth receiver- which also records vital signs), when coming near other unique objects such as the hob, microwave, water bottle, kettle or bathroom will be triggered as have coming near these objects or rooms. Different functions can then be performed such as sending a text alert to an informal carer or collecting this movement between areas as evidence of completing daily activities or physical therapy, beacons can also measure the amount of light in a room indicating other possible events (patient becoming more sedentary, becoming reclusive or becoming physically unable to allow more light into a space). Combining this data with a wrist worn device (which acts as a receiver) that can also measure body temperature and heart rate at the time of interactions – this research could provide valuable information for many stakeholders in healthcare such as families, informal careers and medical staff.