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Introduction Pre-register Demonstration How it works Research Project origin

Research

We want to go much further. We want to help save your life in many more situations. This project was the original element of the Life Bracelet set of services. The objective is to use technology to help you even further.

We are - albeit slowly, due to lack of resources - developing a line of bracelets for monitoring vital signs in real-time. Those bracelets are meant to help reduce emergency action response times by automatically detecting life threatening situations. By monitoring of vital signs, more specifically, pulse and oxigen levels, it is possible to determine if it is necessary to dispatch an emergency response team.



Bracelet


We are planning several models, each one for a distinct usage scenario.

LineDeploymentConnectionModelTarget
Llarge deploymentslocal radio-frequency
and central appliance
LSsports facilities, gyms, pools and amusement parks
LHhospitals, healthcare facilities and retirement homes
Iindividual userscellphone pairing over BluetoothIBpeople who wish some control over their health but are not in critical situations
stand-along GPRS connectionIGpeople who actively need vital signs monitoring to achieve some independence

Usage scenarios

In a gym

When going to a gym or a pool, you'd be given a bracelet in the beginning of the visit. As soon as you put it on and lock it, it will be enabled and it will start monitoring your vital signs. It will also check if it is removed improperly. Should it detect that your lifesigns are on dangerous levels or that it is being tampered with, it will immediately sound an alarm and transmit the alarm information to a central appliance in the premises. The central appliance will warn the on-duty personel and help will be dispatched.

It will also allow you to monitor your exercise. The bracelet and the central appliance could be programmed to provide real-time statistics and to forward them to your smartphone or to a screen nearby. By using the embedded NFC feature, you could approach a nearby console and consult your statistics.

In amusement parks and shopping centers

In an amusement park, the bracelet would be more than a simple lifesigns measurement tool. It would also help prevent kidnappings. The embedded RFID tag would work as a checkpoint marker and the anti-tampering alarm would prevent the bracelet from being removed. Should it be removed, the central appliance could issue an immediate automatic lockdown of the facility. It could be used as well inside shopping centers for the same reason. It would also allow for an improved response time when trying to find children who get lost inside large facilities.

In hospitals and retirement homes

In hospitals it could be used to track patients while allowing them a greater degree of freedom. Some patients may be able to be followed using the less expensive and more practical bracelet freeing up expensive and sensitive machines that are needed in more critical situations, thus improving practicality while saving considerable amounts of money. In retirement homes, the embedded accelerometer could be used to register motion and to infer, from the data collected, what type of motion. For instance, it could be used to detect a fall.

Stand-alone versions

The stand-alone versions (IB and IG models) are the most versatile ones. They are intended for unrestricted use and not within the confinement of a facility. The IB model, since it is meant to be paired with a cellphone, is more appropriate for people who do not require a very strict monitoring and are more concerned with tracking their own whereabouts and exercise, for example. It would communicate with an application on the cellphone that could also be configured to monitor danger situations and report them to the authorities or emergency response teams.

The IG model, on the other hand, is more appropriate for people that are in situations that require stricter monitoring but also deserve some freedom. This will allow them greater degree of freedom while still keeping them monitored. In case of emergency, the bracelet can transmit the GPS coordinates of the individual to predefined contacts or to a certified monitoring facility.

Despite the fact that these two models were designed to be independent of a central appliance, they can be connected to one, nonetheless, over the Internet, to be deployed as a wide are solution for monitoring a large set of individuals. They could be, for example, used by remote care institutions to monitor elderly people in more isolated rural areas, or by doctors while conducting trials, when they need to monitor test subjects while giving them complete freedom of movement.

These two models will need to look like conventional watches or smartwatches. They need to be more visually pleasant to use. The IB version will most likely be packed with more features, making it effectively a fully fleged smartwatch.

Requirements

This is a preliminary list of common requirements for all models:

  1. Must be lightweight and durable;
  2. Models LS and LH must be constantly linked to the central appliance;
  3. Must provide visual and auditory signals when an event is detected to facilitate detection by a search party or bystanders - using high intensity strobe lights and an alarm pitch;
  4. Must warn the user immediately should the battery charge drop near the minimal required power threshold for 60 minutes of constant emergency signaling;
  5. The appliance must also be aware of the battery status so it can warn site personnel about the need to replace the bracelet;
  6. Must have a set of buttons to manually trigger the emergency status - maybe a set of opposed buttons to be squeezed, to prevent accidental triggering;
  7. Must measure pulse;
  8. Must include an RFID tag for identification and checkpoint monitoring;
  9. Must issue alarm if removed inappropriately;
  10. Central appliance must issue alarm if it detects a removal or if connection to any bracelet is lost;
  11. Models LS and LH must be waterproof;
FeatureLSLHIBIG
Waterpoof
Bluetooth
GSM/GPRS
GPS
RFID or NFC
Requires central appliance
Induction charging
Tampering/removal detection
Accelerometer
Minimum battery time6 hours24 hours24 hours24 hours
EIS integration*
? = still undecided
*Emergency Information Service

Recommendations

This is a preliminary list of recommendations the Life Bracelet should apply:

  1. Should provide visual information about current time, device and link status and remaining battery;
  2. Should flash a yellow visual sign and sound a specific pitch in case of battery charge below threshold for immediate replacement;
  3. Could allow position triangulation by radio signal analysis;
  4. Should allow the appliance to record medical data to be analyzed by the doctor or, eventually, the appliance itself could process the recorded life signs in an attempt to predict potential problems;
  5. Display could be based on e-Ink to help save power and make it easily readable;
  6. Extra button could provide temporary back lighting to the display for dark environments;
  7. Should register O2 saturation;
  8. Should detect if it's being used underwater;

Challenges

The following challenges will have to be dealt with:

  1. Underwater usage will imply that the bracelet must be developed in such a way for the water not to interfere with measurements;
  2. Underwater usage will also be a challenge on radio waves but since this system is for short range usage, the addition of small signal repeaters/access points may solve the problem;
  3. The appliance cannot be a single point of failure, therefore some redundancy must be applied;
  4. Model IB will face harsh competition;

Privacy concerns

The primary privacy concern raised by people is that this device could be used to track the user's movements. Although this is technologically possible, it is not the intention of this device, except where voluntarily set up that way.

The medical data is to be kept secure and institutions using the appliances should be obligated to sign agreements that prevent them from disclosing the data without explicit consent of the user.

Reaching the market

These products must reach the market somehow. We plan on creating a commercial spin-off to distribute the product, converting the profit into further investment in research, to supporting additional development of the product and other projects at the Onda Technology Institute.