This page presents a continuation of OCPCD v1.

Abstract

In the coming years there will be more people in the older age group [1] and less people to handle the increasing workload, which among others would be placed on care assistants. A project called OpenCare seeks to remedy this problem by developing technological solutions that can relieve the health sector. This thesis is part of the OpenCare project and therefore shares the goal of easing the burden on the healthcare personnel.
If an accident occurs, it is important to act quickly. The more time that passes from the accident occurs till the patient is treated, the worse the consequences are to the patient and the more expensive it is for society [2]. The prevention of these accidents could save the patient trouble and the society money.
The approach to the problem has been to follow the development method Unified Process (UP) [3]. Using UP, prototypes have been developed in the C # programming language, using an iterative expansion of functionality. During the project, the development group has worked together with other groups in order to integrate mutual components.
In this thesis a mobile unit has been developed. This unit is meant for a physically or cognitively impaired person to bear.
The device is called Open Care Personal Communication Device (OCPCD) and allows attached measuring instruments to monitor the user's general health. If a critical measurement is detected, an alarm is automatically sent to relevant stake holders. In addition, an advanced intercom has been developed, which makes it possible to see who is ringing the doorbell, talk to and let the visitor in without having to walk to the door.
The products developed meet the criteria specified in the requirements specification and has achieved a user-friendly interface, which does not require much interaction from the users side. The products give the user an additional safety net both inside and outside the home, which helps to improve the conditions for the individual users as well as care assistants.



Introduction

OCPCD is a mobile extension to the existing infrastructure. It is situated in the Mobile-tier. It is simply a combination of a very non-complex interfaced cell phone optimized for elderly and cognitive impaired users (see Figure 3) combined with a sensor gateway functionality, an accelerometer as well as a GPS service for location tracking. The device utilizes knowledge of whether the device (and thus the user) is currently at home and therefore within range of the stationary Basestation, or not. At a regular interval the device will check for this. In case the device is at the user’s home and within range of the Basestation, it will regularly check for new sensor device drivers on the Basestation, and automatically synchronize compatible drivers. A sample scenario might be, that a new Bluetooth based ECG device has been brought to the users home, e.g. to replace a less accurate or outdated device. The Basestation will automatically discover this new device, download the device drivers for it, and instantiate communications. Within 5 minutes, the Personal Communication device would have checked with the Basestation for new compatible host drivers, it would have found the new ECG device, and downloaded the drivers for it, but it would not yet have started communication (as the Basestation is currently taking care of this). Once the user leaves his home, the Personal Communication Device will simply perform a take-over of communication with all compatible sensors, including the newly discovered ECG device, and thus the user will be monitored by the Personal Communication Device until returning home, where the Basestation again will assume communications, and thus save the battery resources of the Personal Communication Device (see Figure 1 and Figure 2 for the different scenarios).
SystemOverview@Home.gif
Figure 1: Overview-diagram of the OpenCare Personal Communication Device (OCPCD) when the user is at home. OCPCD communicates with Basestation for synchronizing drivers, checking for location (at home or not), transfer of device measurements, and communication with the door phone
SystemOverviewNot@Home.gif
Figure 2: Overview-diagram of OCPCD communication when not in the user’s home. Here OCPCD uses the GSM network to communicate directly with the Central.


Besides acting as a mobile extension for monitoring and distributing data from the sensors, the device also serves as a communications platform. It is possible to make and receive phone calls, and receive text messages.
UI_v4_stateish01.png
Figure 3: Diagram showing states in the UI. Arrows show the connection between button press and new UI-state. The centre shows the main menu. From here it is possible to raise a manual alarm, access the door phone, and call a contact.

The device also features voice phone capabilities, with an extremely simple user interface for cognitive impaired users (see Figure 3). Furthermore the device features an alert feature, where the user might send an alert in case of getting lost, or having a problem. In case the user is at home (and thus within range of the Basestation) the alert will send the home address (via the Central-tier) to the emergency call-centre, and if not, a GPS-reading is attempted, and converted to a pinpoint on Google Map if possible, as seen on Figure 4.
AlarmBesked.jpg
Figure 4: Picture shows an alarm received from Central. Position of the OCPCD-user is pinpointed on the map, and latitude and longitude are shown.


Finally the device features a door phone control, which allows the user to talk to and see the visitors through Basestation, and via OCPCD let them in, if desired. The visitor’s view of the door phone is seen on Figure 5.
DoorPicture.jpg
Figure 5: This figure shows the door phone system from the visitor's point of view. A video camera is placed at the top of the door, and to the right of this a microphone. The goal of these is to allow communication between users and visitors via video and audio. To the right of the door handle a prototype of a door bell is located. Pressing this notifies the user of a visitor at the door.


The user wears OCPCD on the wrist as shown on Figure 6. From here the features of OCPCD is accessed through the touch screen interface. This allows for direct interaction with the buttons, which helps the user to navigate the device. The buttons are plenty big, thus the device can be operated by finger, and there is no need for a stylus.
wristband.jpg
Figure 6: Picture shows OCPCD in action. OCPCD is worn on the wrist by the user, and is interfaced through the touch screen.

References


[1] Danmarks Statistik, ”Danmarks Statistik - Befolkningsfremskrivning 2009”, 2009
[2] Wagner, S. (2008). “Towards an open and easily extendible home care system infrastructure”, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, Tampere, Finland.
[3] Larman, C., “Applying UML and Patterns”, Third Edition, Prentice Hall, 2006