A team of researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) and the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) have developed a new smart system for monitoring children who are diagnosed with a chronic illness, such as asthma.
This system has a small portable device linked to a smartphone, which allows nonstop and accurate measurement of parameters such as body temperature or heart rate, among others. This would aid parents, doctors, and teachers to be always informed about the child's condition.
According to the UGR and UPV researchers, the system is regulated by a smart algorithm that allows it to independently detect if a parameter has surpassed a specific threshold, "which could imply an emergency". The portable device is linked to the smartphone via Bluetooth, and then connected to the parents' phone through the mobile network.
The system receives data from all the sensors that are a part of the equipment, then it merges and collates data, and lastly it processes and packetizes all the data. The system examines all data together and establishes if there is any situation that requires assistance.
This allows for more accurate responses when emergency situations are detected. If the system detects any anomaly, it sends an alert to parents, teachers and doctors in charge of the child.
Jaime Lloret, director of the IGIC research institute of the Gandia campus (UPV).
Among the benefits of this system, the team highlights that it stands out chiefly because it helps to decrease the number of false positives, enhancing the accuracy with regards to current systems. "Besides, -Lloret adds- it is not tied to any manufacturer, that is, it can be used with any smartphone. The only thing necessary is to install the app we have developed on a phone with Bluetooth. Therefore, it is more economical and affordable for all families".
UGR researcher Sandra Sendra adds that employing this type of technology "can improve medical care and reduce the number of hospitalizations of children when episodes of these chronic diseases occur, as well as shorten hospital stays thanks to a quick response".
UGR and UPV researchers are presently partnering with number of hospitals in the Valencian Community to execute their system for children’s chronic illness monitoring. The research paper has been published in the Information Fusion journal.