A health monitoring device typically uses sensors attached to an individual to monitor physiological conditions such as heart rate, blood pressure, core temperature, lung capacity, and oxygen level. Devices can be used to monitor a group of people, such as people with compromised health, and people working in areas of potential environmental hazard such as mines. Most devices are based on a very simple network that allows wired or wireless communication only between the device and a monitoring facility. This makes it difficult to track multiple individuals at once. The battery technology used by many devices restricts the devices to certain applications and environments, and requires batteries to be changed at a fairly consistent rate.
This invention is a Life Evaluator Network (LEN) that enables the reporting of physiological conditions in real time for a group of individuals. The LEN consists of one or more health monitoring sensors positioned close to an individual (e.g., applied to the skin, embedded in clothing) and wired or wirelessly connected to a control module on the individual. The control module communicates wirelessly with a monitoring facility, and also communicates wirelessly with control modules on nearby individuals to form a personal area network. Data can be communicated across the LEN in two ways. If the LEN uses a star topology, all control modules report to a single access point. This is similar to a network used in a home where a router allows many users access to the Internet. If the LEN uses a mesh topology, all control modules can relay information through the entire network cooperatively. The inventors modified the IEEE Standard 802.1.5.4 network protocol for the invention to reduce power consumption and provide other beneficial features. For example, due to the low-power requirements of the network, control modules can be self-charged by commercially available batteries that run off vibrational energy created by running or walking. Applications include monitoring a sports team, outdoor fitness groups, group rehabilitation, mobile health, personal area networks and mesh communications.
- Collective group health monitoring and reporting
- Extended network range
- Reduced network and device power consumption
- Secure and encrypted communications
- Patent No., 8,693,452 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers