This solution does remote and local monitoring of biometric parameters of the elderly, as well as environmental parameters of their homes. The biometric variables include heart rate measurements collected automatically, by means of a bracelet, throughout the day when the senior is in the range of the central box. Blood pressure, blood glucose and weight values are measured by the senior’s own initiative. The environmental parameters include carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide measurements. The remote control of the television allows an easy interaction with the telehealth platform, namely to interact with medical devices, and to access historic biometric data and automatically receive medical warnings and recommendations (based on biometric protocols and user profile). All data are also available through an Internet browser to doctors and formal/informal caregivers. Doctors remotely define the clinical profiles and the scheduling of exams. In alarm situations, an automatic operational procedure is triggered establishing communication to predefined entities.
This solution follows an IoT paradigm that mainly consists of using embedded processors, sensors and communication hardware to collect, send and act on data they acquire from direct end-users and the environment. Collected data is then shared by connecting to an IoT gateway, the VITABOX, where data is either sent to the cloud to be stored and processed, or analyzed locally.
The VITABOX is the central component of the proposed solution: it manages the interaction between the end-user and the telehealth system though a TV set, it collects the user’s physiological data recorded from the medical devices and assists the user in this procedure, it collects automatically biometric data from a wearable bracelet, and it provides a set of predefined recommendations and warnings to the end-user. Additionally, the VITABOX is the gateway of the residential network, sending all the environmental data and user’s biometric data to the cloud.
The WSN is organized in a tree topology, promoted by Routing over Low Power and Lossy Networks (RPL), and the communication between the nodes is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. Through the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) the VITABOX is able to obtain temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide readings, in JSON format, from each node.
The VITABOX collects data from the biometric sensors using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). These sensors provide blood pressure, weight, oximetry or blood glucose measurements at the patient's initiative. There is also a bracelet for measuring heart rate and steps, which are collected automatically by the VITABOX, when it senses the bracelet signal within its range. VITABOX also centralizes user-TV interaction features, allowing the user to initiate certain exams, view his/her historical data and receive alerts in dangerous situations.
The users’ data, including health and environmental information gathered by the VITABOXes, is stored in the VITASENIOR cloud infrastructure, hosted in the IBM cloud services. In addition to gathering data, the system allows different actors, such as the VITABOX users, their family members or health professionals to access it and obtain insights tailored to their needs and level of access. The live and historical users’ data is also processed, generating alarms and recommendations when unexpected situations are identified.