Personal Virtual Digital Twins for health monitoring

 

Have you ever had unpleasant feeling of anxiety regarding your loved one’s while being away from home?

Or someone you care about is socially isolated at home or discharged from hospital?

Especially in our time of new global threats like CORONAVIRIS (SARS-COV-1,2, etc.)?

How they are? What’s happening now?

Is there a way to have some intelligent digital technology that monitors personal health in place where a person lives and can inform and possibly assist if something goes wrong?

 

All these questions take away the peace of mind of many people on this planet who, by various reasons, have to live or be away from their parents, grandparents and relatives working in different places, cities and countries. The numbers of people living at their homes alone like elderly or people with a variety of health problems or patients discharged from hospitals after CORONAVIRUS treatment are increasing each day.

If one searches for practical options to monitor health and activities of such population the results typically would bring lead to solutions called Remote patient monitoring, Telemedicine, Telecare, Telehealth, Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), etc.

There are many of them reflecting increasing interest of many people and market opportunities for businesses. The overall progress to address the growing demand is facilitated by fast advancement of wearables, various sensors and IoT that collect specific data (pulse, steps, fall, sleep, blood pressure, temperature, etc,) and transmit it to mobile phone apps or special cloud analytics software to provide charts, analytics regarding these measurements and relevant recommendations.

Becoming a common trend, such solutions gradually lead to significant change in approach to remote health monitoring.

However, the experiments and practical applications in many countries revealed several major drawbacks that hinder wide use of these digital technology solutions by large number of potential customers. It includes as follows:

1. Scale of monitoring: There is a magnitude of diverse heterogeneous real time data that needs to be monitored automatically at homes on the regular basis. Mobile phones are not designed for such mission critical data processing requirements. And sending big data to cloud brings variety of issues such as traffic, overhead, reliability, costs, dependence from provider, latency, etc.).

2. Complexity: Many of these solutions are too complex, need special knowledge to let the analytic results interpretation. At the same time, they are limited in the capacity to assist users intelligently and keep their relatives and caregivers updated in a way that minimizes the overhead and their needs for continuous monitoring.

3. Lack of interactivity and intelligence: The majority of solutions are lack of personalised intelligent interactivity (voice conversations, video, images, animations) realised by automated AI driven communications with the target user groups that are important for the people who live alone or have health issues. However, phycological positive personal interactions are natural and important for social human beings. Voice conversation, exchange of comments and opinions and news, video messages and content, images, animations are  key factors of the comfort and well-being. The availability of rich and high-quality content can effectively help to cope with various negative effects of loneliness, improve physical and mental health, decrease depression, suicides, cardiovascular disease and strokes, increased stress levels, etc.).

4. Monitoring all the time by looking into the screens? No way!

We all are busy with a magnitude of various daily issues and do not have possibility to look into the monitor screens switching between different data and analytic charts!

5. Total costs of the integrated solution 

There are many pieces of existing hardware and software that need to be brought at home for intelligent remote health and well-being monitoring. Most of them work independently and rarely meet the interoperability requirements. Each device usually has separate, often proprietary, connectivity, controls and mobile apps that quickly brings up total costs and significantly complicate its use and maintenance especially by people in age. There is the utmost need to have all components working together to minimise total costs and make the use easy and simple to make the solutions affordable for the target audience.   

 

New digital technologies

Nowadays, both monitoring of such IoT data streams and its real time analysis shall be the tasks of the Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and Advanced IoT software technology as it can and should

  • Check each piece of data continuously as it becomes available,
  • Analyse data in every necessary detail automatically taking into consideration the profile of concrete individual (age, weight, height, gender, specific  diseases, etc),
  • Analyse all sensor data sources and ongoing processes altogether in real time to identify holistic status of whole system

“Personal Health + Activities + Home environment + Safety”

  • Calculate all necessary indicators that include various bio-medical, physiological, psychological, activity, environmental and other optional indicators 24/7/365,
  • Inform the person and his/her informal and formal caregivers about ongoing or predicted status of the whole system "Smart Person @ Smart Home" to inform us like:

Mom is fine! (time, day)

                    or

Granddad has a problem! (details, explanations and optional action recommendations)

And much more: In case the status or its trend is calculated as critical, such system shall automatically contact the relevant predefined parties e.g. neighbours, relatives, caregivers and healthcare, to act immediately as there is no time to wait. It shall be able to get through to the predefined emergency contacts without fail and confirm the corrective actions undertaken.

 

Monitoring the whole system Smart Person @ Smart Home    

Our company developed such Intelligent Digital Twin application running at novel AI-, Big Data-, IoT - driven platform PharosN and which was tested in the lab and applied by our partners in the Horizon 2020 project experiment SmartMozionAge.

The main concepts and components of the prototype solution are illustrated below at the diagram and include as follows:

  • Digital Virtual Twin Model is open, anonymous, integrates and presents all home living processes as Big System:

{ Personal health + Activities at Home + Home Environment + Safety }.

“Open” means that the Twin model can be upgraded by adding bio-medical indicators, more sophisticated health and behavioural models, home plan and design details, increase of various smart sensors for doors, refrigerator, room movements, add optional medical diagnostic devices locally installed, interactions with various devices including mobiles, security and safety features, etc,

  • The Twin can collect data from all data wireless sensors and wearables available at home and transform it into the health and well being indictors and the system status
  • It communicates the status of a person and home living conditions and its trends as predictions to predefined groups of recipients  (the person as main user, his/her relatives, informal and formal caregivers, healthcare centers, etc.)
  • It provides all of them with the individual focused recommendations as prescription analytics regarding necessary or optional corrective actions and generic activities facilitating well-being,
  • It fosters interactions and social inclusion with friends, relatives, social networks, etc
  • The network options include latest wireless technologies such as Bluetooth 5 BLE, Zigbee 3, Wi-Fi 6, LoraWan, 4G/5G
  • The platform has only open source software and complies with relevant major stable standards, 
  • The hardware includes commercially available inexpensive yet quality components  
  • The whole service package is affordable and cost-effective.

 

 The solution implementation status

The pre-commercial prototype is in testing and planned for release during Q3/2020. The initial minimum viable product will include as follows:

  1. Hand wearable smart health bracelet
  2. The set of home environmental and activity sensors 
  3. Mini-PC running the Digital Twin to collect health and environmental data from the sensors in real time
  4. Mobile apps (phone and tablet) to let interactions between the Twin and Users and  access to monitoring analytics 
  5. Tools to link additional sensors and other devices to the twin model expanding the scope and sophistication of the monitoring services.

The IHET solution provides valuable medical advisory, health alerts, reminders and home safety alerts, help in detection of fall and other home related living issues

All these makes possible to be assured that our elderly or physically limited loved ones are doing well, even when we are not around. And they, as actual users, can feel more independent and less of a burden on other people, experiencing more convenience and comfort.

Does it sound interesting for you?

If yes, let us know to invite you as early adopter to try and experiment and advise us as co-creator, and benefit from the enhanced functionalities of the AAL solution that are tuned to your needs. If leaving us a message write in its subject "IHETto help us distinguishing the topic of your interest.

Serguei Golovanov

Founder and CEO

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ILLUSTRATIONS

1. Home components supporting health and living environment monitoring 

Personal eHealth Assistant for remote patient monitoring by virtual twin

 

2.  The intelligent health managment and monitoring ecosystem 

Intelligent Personal Well-Being Assistant Ecosystem