One of the biggest costs in healthcare is keeping people in the hospital. One of the biggest annoyances to patients is being in the hospital or having to constantly go back to the doctor’s office for follow ups. We wanted to come up with a cheap solution that would let patients go home sooner.
What it does
The ESP-band streams real-time heartbeat and acceleration data from your wrist to your doctor. The doctor updates the medication based on the live heath monitoring and the ESP-band tells the patient when to take their pills.
How we built it
We designed and 3D printed a wristband formfactor to fit around our components. The photodiode and LEDs at the bottom of the case provide the heart beat waveform, while an accelerometer tracks movement. We used the embedded wifi module on the ESP to stream data to and from the wristband and a Redis instance.
The server analysis the waveforms and pulls the Accuweather API. The processed data is then sent using socket.io to canvas.js graphics on the webpage for the doctor to analyse. Any updates the doctor makes to the medication can then be saved to the Redis instance and sent to the wristband.
Challenges we ran into
Most of our challenges involved programming the ESP and interfacing with the screen. The screen used an unconventional version of i2c, which ended up not being compatible with the ESP. The ESP chip is a slightly unorthodox IC which is not as easy to work with as an arduino. Pins are much closer together and the microcontroller is more complicated to work with. Because of this much of our time was spent adapting our knowledge to this new platform. It was a difficult but enjoyable challenge.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that we got a live web interface working. This interface requires the combination of up to 5 devices all working perfectly at once, and we faced problems with every one of them on the way to creating a fluid interface to our live data.
What we learned
This was our first time working on an embedded device in a hackathon. We learned that just as difficulty increases as size increases, there are challenges at smaller scales too. Developing small scale hardware gave us a better understanding of the complexities of embedded systems.
What's next for ESP-band
We would like to add data analytics to the heart rate and acceleration monitoring that can provide the doctor with additional information about the patient's health. These analytics can relate various environmental factors with stress which can be determined from general heart waveform trends. We hope that by analyzing these trends we can reduce patient stress which could lead to more effective healthcare.