Lack of early, or even timely, intervention in pre-existing medical conditions in the elderly is one of the major causes of their untimely death. Misdiagnosis of diseases due to lack of data and inaccurate descriptions of the ailments often leads to increased periods of suffering among the people. Such problems especially affect the aged people (age>50) who need longer time to heal and are more vulnerable to chronic conditions that can be detected by merely monitoring their vital signatures. An aggregate of 1.6 million people die every year in India alone due to the absence of timely diagnosis, lack of awareness and dearth of intermittent vital monitoring. A robust, cost effective vital monitoring system is a need of the hour for the elderly, especially with diseases like the global COVID-19 pandemic in which regular monitoring is an essential service, the need of which is made more intense by a lack of medical professionals and equipment in 2nd and 3rd world countries.
What it does
XtressHealth aims to utilize IoT devices, coupled with metal oxide sensors, Wireless IMUs, body-heat temperature sensors and a few others controlled by ESP-32 microcontrollers. The use of commonly available sensory units reduces the overall development cost, eradicates implementation issues and limits the product’s price range. The entirety of the data will be passed through a FHIR tunnel and stored in a hybrid cloud database which highly encrypts and improves data security and also makes it a more adaptable option for patients at grass root level. The user interface, inclusive of a wearable watch integrated with an IVR chatbot, will be easy to access, and especially made for elderly patients so that they are able to utilize the device without having to understand or learn any new technology. The device will display monitored vitals refreshed periodically and will utilize the measured vitals to compare and contrast patient cases with similar comorbidities, which will in turn be used to predict accurate vital ranges within defined safe zone brackets, thereby alerting patients when their vitals fall into danger zones.
How we built it
The prevalent COVID 19 scenario in India inspired us to develop monitoring systems which could function in no network situations and solely serve the purpose of monitoring, alerting medical professionals only when medical assistance is required. In addition to lessening the burden of patient overload in hospitals due to sheer panic created by a lack of awareness about vital signs and the impact of comorbidities, this will also improve patient welfare. We are a team of engineering students with a special interested in bio technology. Decoding the available solutions and combining them with efficiency improving technologies inclusive of hybrid cloud tech, IVR user interfaces and IoT sensor development came together naturally. We hope to improve the rapidly declining situations caused due to diseases like COVID-19 and demystify medical monitoring to lessen the burden on medical staff, including nurses and doctors so that the right amount of attention can be devoted to cater to both serious patient cases and to prevent patients from entering the danger zone by simply taking the right approach in vital monitoring and in raising awareness about the diseases so as to break down the misinformation barriers surrounding them.
Challenges we ran into
- Lack of understanding of the patient scenario
- Analyzing the different kinds of patient environments
- Integrating IVR into efficient and elegant wearable solutions
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our platform along with advances in IoT will give rise to the inherently safer connected ecosystem. Wearable and embedded sensors will make it possible for patients to be monitored within their surroundings to prevent and easily report injury from environmental variables, overexertion, sudden fall in vitals etc.
Currently, the field of wearable medical monitoring devices has limited available tech. We plan to eliminate the disadvantages currently existent in the field, inclusive of high maintenance rates, large scale implementation issues, dearth of investments, exhaustive and tangentially increasing prices, and security risks.
The User Interface will comprise of a wearable watch integrated with an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) chatbot. This enables the patient, especially those belonging to upper age brackets, to verbally communicate with the device, rather than be forced to learn and interact with cumbersome technology.
What we learned
- The stagnant state of the wearable medical devices industry
- The economic distress and unavailability of funds in the medical industry, especially in 2nd and 3rd world countries in the face of global pandemics like COVID-19
- The practical need for medical tech which can be utilized for patient welfare
What's next for XtressHealth
- Building an extensible project and expanding to more elegant solutions
- Scaling it to be more user friendly and available to the elderly population
- Implementing no network environments allowing devices to function with maximum efficiency
- Enabling easy access by improving upon our IVR features
- Implementing better security platforms to safeguard patient data