Emergency Physiological Measurements Broadcast System based on body-worn beacon and Health Device Profile

Eliasz Kantoch1, Michał Grochala2, Marcin Kajor1, Dominik Grochala1
1AGH University of Science and Technology, 2Nordic Semiconductor Poland


Introduction In the course of the emergency response it is crucial to quickly identify subjects with increased health risk. The traditional way includes physical examination of each patient by the physician using medical devices. However, during emergency scenarios this approach may be challenging. Aims The main aim of the study is to investigate the feasibility of Physiological Measurements Broadcast System (PMBS) using body-worn beacon and healthcare sensor that transmits health data and device ID in broadcast packets to signal users in the nearby about potential health risk. Those packets are received and recorded by compatible wireless receivers for interaction modeling. Material and Methods We developed the prototype of health monitoring system based on nRF51822 SoC. It incorporates 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M0 CPU, Bluetooth® Low Energy radio and run from CR1632 coin-cell battery. We used temperature sensor as the major use-case scenario for the system was to quickly identify patients with abnormal body temperature. We used Bluetooth Health Device Profile and created broadcast packet to transmit sensor measurement and device ID to the nearby receivers. The list of seen nearby device IDs are recorded and may be used for modeling of the device interaction. We performed indoor and outdoor experiments and measured the system features including transmission rage and power consumption. Results and discussion We measured the transmission range up to 80 meters in the open space while the power consumption was <8mA. The major system advantage are ultra compact size, low cost, low-power operation and open communication interface for interoperability with compatible receivers that can be deployed in hospitals or public spaces. However, the privacy issues should be considered before large scale system deployment. Conclusion Our results suggest the feasibility of designing and deploying the prototype of PMBS in selected emergency use-case scenario.