IOT connected hospital
To keep doctors and nurses attending to corona victims safe and reduce their workload
To attend to corona patients for even trivial tasks like providing them medicine or checking their temperature, doctors and nurses put themselves at great risk to attend to them. To prevent this, I propose a ground robot capable of locomotion inside a hospital environment and attending to patients and fulfilling some basic needs and even raising an alarm in case of an emergency.
The floor of the hospital would have to be marked with black tape to make lines for the bot to follow with its line detector module. The lines need to make a map of the entire ward with each bed given a pre-assigned identification ID. The instructions to the bot would be sent to it wirelessly over Wi-Fi(if the hospital has a connection) by the doctors or nurses through an app that connects to a web application based on Node-Red, from the comfort of their homes.
Instructions like checking the body temperature, giving medicines and essentials would be given through the app.
Also, the patient may summon the bot at any time, through a calling button on the bedside. As soon as the bot receives a signal to attend to a patient, it goes to the specific bed and wakes up the IR LED on the bedside with the help of the magnet attached on it, that sends a coded message corresponding to that bed. If the codes match, then the bot proceeds with further actions. This setup was chosen purposely to ensure data security which is a critical issue these days. Also the wakeup mechanism ensures that the ESP MCU which is capable of drawing less power during sleep mode may not drain the battery too quickly.
A panel of buttons would also be providesd on the bedside, through which the patient may ask for some essentials like water or call for medical staff. If the doctor wants to see the patient, the bot may also give audio and video footage.
Also, the module mounted on the patient`s bed may also trigger emergency messages for the doctors and help in case of an emergency, taking sensor data from ventilators or other monitoring equipment. In such an emergency, if the attending doctor is not available on-site, he may initiate certain basic tasks through external plug and play modules that can be mounted on the bot for things like fluid injections, or tweaking settings of life-support modules like ventilators till competent staff can attend.
The application would keep track of all willing, active and competent doctors on the platform, who would be issued a notification if the doctor attending to that particular patient is not available(something like Ola and Uber). Enrollment would be on a voluntary and competency basis. This would help reduce the workload on doctors at hospitals where the number of patients is large and allow doctors in those areas that are not affected much to pitch in and do their bit.
In hospitals where Wi-Fi is not accessible, we can have the SIM800L module on the bot (along with the Wi-Fi and BLE enabled ESP32 development board), which has 2G connectivity and gives real-time updates to the doctor about the patient`s condition over SMS and even calls too. The doctor can monitor all patients` conditions through the app including ECG and other critical sensor data, which could help in giving life-saving instructions to hospital staff remotely. The data of each patient would be stored in the cloud which can then be shared in medical and academic circles to use it for drug discovery and development of better medical practices.
The app would have the doctor control over the camera module with which monitoring indisciplined patients can also be done, without risking physical proximity.
The platform can as well be extended to attend to patients with other problems as well.
The Corona Pandemic is well under control in India as of now, but given the rate at which we are losing our frontline warriors - our medical staff, who are being exposed to this dangerous virus during treatment, it is important for us to ensure their safety. Already, there is a lack of medical equipment and staff and hence a lot of stress on health workers. On top of that are indisciplined patients and the highly communicable nature of the virus. Most hospitals in India are understaffed and to cater to many patients at once is difficult. This is where the system I propose comes in.
- Safety of doctors and other staff
- Reducing workload of health workers
- Life-saving treatment remotely at the right time
- Remote monitoring of patients
For patient beds
- ESP-01 microcontroller board
- IR LED
- 555 timer IC
- Bot-calling button
- Bot-instruction buttons
- Reed switch
-3.7V LiFePO4 battery
Total cost - ~400
- IR Receiver
- Neodymium Magnet(smallest possible)
- ESP32 microcontroller(WROOVER32)
- SIM800L GPRS 2G module
- IR LED module for line detection
- High-torque geared motors with encoder(Rhino 12V 50RPM)
- Ultrasonic sensors for obstacle detection(HCSR04)
- Camera module(PiCam 2)
- Audio module(JQV500)
- Pan-tilt mount for camera
- 11.1V 20C 8000mAh Li-ion battery
- Charging port
Total cost - ~8000
-Android device with a working internet connection
-Enrollment on the application
Total cost - practically ~0
Justification of components used
The primary enabler of the IOT hospital is the ESP MCU.Reasons for choosing the ESP are-
- Wi-Fi and bluetooth low energy connectivity
- Large number of I/O pins for taking inputs from various sensors and actuating motors for locomotion
- Small form factor which enables it to be mounted easily
- 240Mhz dual core processor
- Low power consumption
- Sleep mode to save power
Please refer to the presentation attached herewith.
The bot would be a four-wheeled rear wheel differential drive. The arm would be fitted with the camera module and the place at the back can be used to mount a variety of modules for different kinds of medical work.
The modules would be plug and play and can be controlled by the doctors remotely. The material would be ABS plastic. Most of the chassis would be made with cutouts of generic plastic sheets and boxes, reducing manufacturing time and cost.
- Optimal implementation of social distancing for doctors
- IOT connected entities(bots, beds, equipment and application)
- Remote access to patient and medical equipment
- Low-cost design
- Easy to prototype and implement(suitable in remote environments)
- Patient monitoring on-the-go
- Notifications about patient condition
- Unified platform of doctors to reduce workload
- Prevents physical harm and indiscipline towards doctors
- Datalogging on the cloud to help with future treatments
- Portable and scalable
All in all, flashy as it may seem, the cost of installing the system in a hospital with 40 beds is much lower than even the cheapest of ventilators!!!