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The starting point of this project was the graduation report of Iñaki Vicuña Contany (2016) for the St. Gallen Clinic in Switzerland. Iñaki designed the ‘Companion’, a concept with the following functions:

  • The patient device measures the heart rate and sees if the patient has fallen.
  • The patient device calms the patient during a high DoNA event and notify them when the nurse is on their way.
  • The nurse device notifies when the linked patient needs assistance.
  • An intermediate between the devices regulates the communication and saves the readings of the patient device, so that the information can be used for learning purposes.

1. Patient bracelet

The patient’s bracelet is seen as the connection between the patient and the nurse. The patient bracelet has no sensors, but it has communication equipment to communicate with the abacus. The patient’s bracelet has haptic and light components which give feedback (stimuli) to the patient. The haptic feedback conforms certain actions and events. The visual feedback is used for conformations but also for the relaxation of the patient during a high DoNA (Degree of Needed Assistance) event.

2. Nurse bracelet

The synchronizing of the patient bracelet and the nurse bracelet (referred to in the thesis as ‘the ritual’) is a physical process which is also used as a social event between the patient and the nurse. When synchronised, the nurse bracelet is a digital link to the patient’s monitoring data (via the ‘abacus’, an intermediate).

3. Patch

The patch contains the different sensors to measure the patient’s data: an oximeter and a three-axis accelerometer/gyroscope. It sends this information to the abacus through a Bluetooth connection.


4. The abacus

The abacus is the component which evaluates and processes the data received from the patch and in turn, and sends warnings to the nurse. The abacus is also the point to wirelessly charge the patient and nurse bands. As stated above, this analysis will count as the starting point for an improved redesign.

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