ASCLEPIO: a Personal Health & Safety Assistant
The goal of the ASCLEPIO project is to realise a Personal Health & Safety Assistant with innovative features. It will be a sort of PDA with a localisation unit accomplished by a hybrid system that uses the Galileo, GPS or RFID signals. A further idea for such a system is to use RFID transponders to create a guided way for blind people. The adopted RFID tags are passives, namely they do not need a battery and can be installed everywhere, like city parks, street corners and indoor environments. A Bluetooth antenna is able to detect RFID transponders, read its stored data, and send this information to a smart phone provided with a map database. Through Bluetooth headphones, the person receives information about the way he wants to go, in order to avoid obstacles. The Personal Health & Safety device uses the RFID signals, if Galileo or GPS are not available.
The statistics related to first aid requests show that a timely intervention can considerably increase the survival probability and minimise the injuries subsequent to the seizure. The basic idea of this alternative scenario is to provide a device to the subject at risk that controls the subject’s living parameters at a distance and to localise him with very high precision. In case of a heart attack this device, provided with a mini computer, sends a message to a control centre using UMTS or WIMAX network containing information about the illness, as an electrocardiogram, and his location in order to alert the nearest first aid team.
The market already provides such telemedicine systems but the proposed idea allows the injured person to be localised more precisely, using a Galileo localisation device rather than GPS. Furthermore, the RFID based localisation system allows the device to work and to guide a blind person in indoor environments as well. Its innovation consists of the integration of multiple sources, as a Galileo and RFID network, to precisely estimate the position.
A study of the European society of cardiology shows that mortality is less than 10%, if first aid intervention is well timed. Public corporations dealing with health care as first aid structures and hospitals can adopt such device in order to plan their intervention in a welltimed way, heavily decreasing costs. Visually handicapped persons can use this system as well, and they can become more autonomous, without needing a continuous assistance by another person.
Public corporations can improve their quality of service without hardly increasing costs by adopting the ASCLEPIO device; heart patients can improve their quality of life because their living parameters are continuously controlled by the proposed system as well. If structures such as underground stations, hospitals, and universities adopt a localisation mechanism based on RFID network, blind people can autonomously reach these places.