“Warning! User’s night time activity level and number of bathroom visits have increased. We recommend you arrange an online appointment with a doctor.” A display alarm was sent from a tele-healthcare app that Alice has installed for her mother who is living alone. Alice immediately arranges online doctor’s appointment through the app and her mother gets diagnosed with hypertension – a illness if not detected early, could lead to more severe vascular diseases or complications such as stroke – on that same day. This is what tele-medicine (or eHealth) would look like in near future. It is about prevention and driven by hyper-personalized data.
Telehealth market has been rapidly growing with the advancement of information communication technology and shifting paradigm from “disease care” to “health care”. Moreover, as the population rapidly ages, there has been significant increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases and thus the need for increased care and welfare whilst maintaining social cost. Telehealth is considered to support remote health and social care to secure people’s autonomy and increase their quality of life.
Furthermore, the Coronavirus Pandemic is pushing telehealth into the mainstream. Like everything else, the healthcare service is changing. It is expected to become a must-have for patients and healthcare professionals as it allows health care professionals to diagnose patients remotely and patients to avoid in-person visits to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
At bitsensing, we are developing an innovative IoT sensor for smart healthcare solutions. mini radar is world’s smallest sensor that can monitor a person safely and remotely without having to wear a wearable. Also, because there is no camera, it does not create any privacy issues. mini radar can detect a person’s presence, movement patterns or vital signs like respiration as well as incidents/abnormal activities such as fall or heart attack in real-time, making it a perfect sensor for effective remote and contactless monitoring system.
Radar sensor works robustly under all weather or light condition by its own nature. It can be used in dark or high humidity and because it does not collect any optic images, it can be used in toilets or inside a home. For example, with our mini, you can monitor your parent’s health and get real-time alert if an incident like fall has been detected without invading their privacy.
Mini Radar is 60GHz mmWave radar sensor. 60GHz frequency become available quite recently for commercial use. Other radar sensors in the market that provide contactless person presence and vital monitor are usually based on UWB sensors that uses 6-8.5GHz frequency. However, the bandwidth of UWB sensors are usually around 2.5GHz but bandwidth of mini is 6GHz, providing far more advanced resolution. Also, the size of antenna is compact, allowing it to be miniaturized up to 1/5 of a UWB sensor.
Bitsensing is a radar technology startup for autonomous vehicles. To achieve Level 4 autonomous driving, there must be a sensor that does not only detects objects and recognizes incidents outside a car but also detects and monitors drivers and passengers inside a car. Mini radar can detect drivers and passengers of an industrial or passenger cars even when there is no motion (e.g. in a sleep) unlike the ultrasound or PIR motion sensor.
We believe this sensing technology can be applied to digital healthcare industry; we believe we can solve social issues by enhancing safety. It can be applied in various verticals like telemedicine, telecare, smart home, baby monitor to sleep apnea – virtually anywhere to detect and monitor a person, remotely, without wearables or push buttons while maintaining their privacy.
For example, we believe mini can help mitigate social problems associated with aging society such as lone death. Mini can also help hospitals with under-staffing issues by providing efficient monitoring system to prevent in-hospital accidents. If an abnormal activity of a patient – such as rapid increase in respiration or patient who are supposed to call help when he needs to visit the restroom is trying to move by himself – is detected it can alert the nurse station for an immediate action and we believe it will be especially useful for nightly supervision. Also, it can be beneficial for the people suffering from the chronic diseases such as insomnia and need constant health monitoring. It can also be used to monitor people with limited access to hospitals such as elderly, post-op patients and this will help reducing medical and social cost by effective health/disease management and disease/illness prevention.
As the medical paradigm is shifting to ‘prevention’ and ‘hyper personalization’, the importance of big data is ever growing. The data will not only improve care of a patient by early diagnosis but could also help people to manage their own health better. For example if a person’s everyday activity data – the life log – such as sleep pattern or walking pattern(gait) can be collected and integrated with AI speaker or smart home platform, users can be alerted for low activity level or abnormal sleep patterns.
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