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Blog: Why I designed a sensor-based communication system for hospitals

Posted by Georgie Cade (Admin) Oct 19, 2020

Charlotte De Grijs designed this system whilst studying her MSc in Wireless and Optical Communications at UCL. She wrote this blog for us (2020) exploring the need for such a system and her personal motivation from her grandfather's experiences. 

This project, Design of Sensor Based Communication System for Hospitals, is continuing at UCL in UCL Institute of Communciations and Connected Systems under the supervision of Director Professor Izzat Darwazeh.

My project includes the design of a sensor-based communication system which will be used for patient monitoring in hospitals, such as a patient falling out of a bed or for bedsore prevention. The project includes the design of a wireless communication network, utilizing sensors (placed on beds) and focuses on communication without interfering with other medical devices. As well as the reliability and security of the connection required for the patient data protection. The sensors used are multi-axis sensors, which include two different types of movement sensors. These sensors are used to measure the behaviors of the patient on the bed, some applications include bed occupation, fall monitoring, bedsore prevention and bed location. 

Each hospital bed is mounted with a single sensor and the data is used to detect what movements occur, using machine learning. The outcome of the movements will be used to inform the nurses and doctors about the state of the patient through notifications created by the system. This allows the nurses and doctors to monitor several patients simultaneously over different floors. An initially unseen benefit of this project will be for the nurses, as they obtain several injuries from moving patients around to prevent bedsores. The risk of injury will be reduced for the nurses as they will only have to move the patients if they receive a notification that the patient hasn't moved in two hours. 

Earlier this year my grandfather passed away due to complications obtained from falling out of his care-home bed and the nurses not realising for several hours, so with the application of fall monitoring I hope to help prevent any further accidents. 


This post was edited on Oct 23, 2020 by Alice Hardy

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Comments (2)

Emily Crawford says... Nov 10, 2020

Really interesting - is there any scope to developing this type of technology to help older people at home as well?

Esther Hui says... Nov 22, 2020

Thanks for sharing this! Would it be possible to use this sensor-based communication system in care homes? 

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