WO2012006999A2 - Hub exchange in medical device network - Google Patents

Hub exchange in medical device network Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2012006999A2
WO2012006999A2 PCT/DK2011/050259 DK2011050259W WO2012006999A2 WO 2012006999 A2 WO2012006999 A2 WO 2012006999A2 DK 2011050259 W DK2011050259 W DK 2011050259W WO 2012006999 A2 WO2012006999 A2 WO 2012006999A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
node
preceding
nodes
method according
system according
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PCT/DK2011/050259
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French (fr)
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WO2012006999A3 (en
Inventor
Uno Jakob Weber
Klaus Lynggaard Hougesen
Jacob Gotfredsen
Original Assignee
Carecord Aps
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Priority to DKPA201000632 priority Critical
Priority to DKPA201000632 priority
Priority to DKPA201000796 priority
Priority to DKPA201000796 priority
Application filed by Carecord Aps filed Critical Carecord Aps
Publication of WO2012006999A2 publication Critical patent/WO2012006999A2/en
Publication of WO2012006999A3 publication Critical patent/WO2012006999A3/en

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G16INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR SPECIFIC APPLICATION FIELDS
    • G16HHEALTHCARE INFORMATICS, i.e. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR THE HANDLING OR PROCESSING OF MEDICAL OR HEALTHCARE DATA
    • G16H40/00ICT specially adapted for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities; ICT specially adapted for the management or operation of medical equipment or devices
    • G16H40/40ICT specially adapted for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities; ICT specially adapted for the management or operation of medical equipment or devices for the management of medical equipment or devices, e.g. scheduling maintenance or upgrades
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/0002Remote monitoring of patients using telemetry, e.g. transmission of vital signals via a communication network

Abstract

This invention relates generally to the field of medical monitors and sensors, and more particularly to wireless medical monitors. One aspect of the invention relates to a method for substituting a first node in a data network comprising a plurality of nodes, the first node having a first configuration, said method comprising the steps of: a) singling out the first node and a second node in the network, and b) transferring said first configuration from the first node to the second node thereby substituting the first node with the second node. The present invention thereby enables terminal - free exchange of a personal hub in a network. The hub or node can be in the form of a wristband that receives data transmitted from sensing equipment.

Description

Hub exchange in medical device network

This invention relates generally to the field of medical monitors and sensors, and more particularly to wireless medical monitors. More specifically the present invention relates to a system and a method for terminal-free exchange of a personal hub in a network.

Background of the invention

Within the field of patient care in general and in hospital patient care in particular patient treatment management is increasingly relying on electronic monitoring. A growing number of medical devices, sensors and monitors are used to track a patient's condition and to aid in patient treatment. There is a need to consolidate the

presentation, control, and monitoring of patient data, such as by presenting all information from patient-related devices (including patient vital signs and other relevant patient information) together, and to allow centralized control and monitoring of any medical devices that are connected to a patient. This is combined with the need for wireless monitoring of patients, in-hospital as well as out-of-hospital, to account for patient mobility. Conventional wired medical devices do not provide such patient mobility and are primarily suited for immobile patients such as patients in Intensive Care or Cardiac Departments, or for intermittent use by other hospital patients in time of acute deterioration or during brief treatment cycles where patients are sitting or reclining. Continuous, real-time monitoring of mobile patients can only meaningfully be obtained through wireless and wearable devices. Patient sensors may provide data on electrocardiogram (ECG), electroencephalogram (EEG), heart rate, blood pressure, pulse oximetry, respiratory rate, body temperature (surface and/or core), skin color, blood chemistry, fluid chemistry and other vital signs and indicators, which may be used as diagnostic tools, to treat a patient, and to allocate medical resources to patients requiring care. But individual patients may use a different array of medical devices, which may not readily interconnect.

Wireless monitoring of patient location and vital signs can be provided by using a solution consisting of four elements: 1 ) a patient-worn "hub" which can be in the form of a wristband that receives data transmitted from sensing equipment (such as sensor patches attached to the patient) and sends it to a gateway; 2) a gateway that relays transmitted data to and from the "hub", 3) centralized servers, either cloud hosted or conventional, that are endpoints and processors of said data, and 4) a specialized system for syncing/linking sensors with a "hub". The hubs thereby function as network nodes, i.e. connection points where data from individual sensor patches are gathered and redistributed to gateways and servers and vice versa, thereby addressing the problem of each patient using a different array of sensor patches.

Summary of the invention

In order for patient monitoring systems to gain commercial success it is necessary that not only patients benefit from the monitoring. The health care professionals, such as doctors, nurses, porters, etc, are also "users" and the user experience for the health care professionals is equally important. The prerequisite freedom of movement experienced by the patients must also apply to health care professionals. The important head-to-head contact between staff and patients must not be reduced at the price of increased electronic patient monitoring, e.g. if health care professionals are bound to physical system terminals just to perform simple operations. A daily life situation may be that the internal battery of the patient worn hub (e.g. in the form of a wristband) is low, or when a malfunction occurs. This situation is most likely signaled to the central servers for someone to take action. Replacement of a hub requires that a nurse walks to the patient wearing the specific hub, demounts the hub and takes it to a terminal where a new hub can be programmed, i.e. electronically matched with the identity of the specific patient. Subsequently the new hub must be connected to the sensors worn by the patient and then attached to the patient. One object of the invention is to improve this replacement procedure.

This can be achieved by a method for substituting a first node in a data network comprising a plurality of nodes, the first node having a first configuration, said method comprising the steps of:

a) singling out the first node and a second node in the network, and b) transferring said first configuration from the first node to the second node thereby substituting the first node with the second node. In a further aspect the invention relates to a system having means for carrying out the methods described above. Said system may be any suitable system, such as a system for substituting a first node in a data network, comprising a plurality of network nodes, means for determining when the first node and a second node is being singled out in the network, said first node having a first configuration, and means for transferring said first configuration from the first node to the second node. Or a system, such as a computer comprising computer code portions constituting means for executing the methods as described above. In a yet further aspect the invention relates to a data carrier comprising computer code portions constituting means for executing the methods as described above.

As a node can be a hub (the term "hub" may be used instead of "node") the present invention thereby facilitates an easy exchange of the wristband (hub), because the inventive procedure switches the "identity" from the old hub to the new hub without the normal interaction through a physical terminal. By introducing medical device system technologies that can be operated bedside or on the go rather than solely at a workstation and furthermore reduces the number of steps needed to carry out functions the user experience is optimized and the present invention is thereby a step towards efficient patient monitoring.

Detailed description of the invention In one embodiment of the invention the data network is a mesh network, such as a wireless mesh network. Further, the data network preferably comprises at least one server. The data network may further comprise a plurality of gateways. The mesh network may thereby comprise the gateways and the nodes. Preferably each node in the network is uniquely identifiable, e.g. each node in the network comprises a unique hardware ID.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention a configuration is assigned to each node in the network. Further, the first node is preferably correlated with one or more sensors, said correlation determined by said first configuration. E.g. a patient wearing a hub that is correlated with sensors, e.g. vital sign monitor sensors, also worn by the patient. Other nodes may be correlated with other sensors, e.g. other patients wear their personal hub and sensors. The individual hub configuration ensures that a hub on patient is correlated with the sensors worn by that patient, i.e. the hub "listens" only to the sensors worn by that patient.

Preferably the first node is wirelessly correlated with said one or more sensors, i.e. the sensor(s) is wirelessly connected with the first node. The sensors may thereby be part of the data network. An individual, such as a patient, may be wearing said one or more sensors. Wireless sensors in the network may be transmitting data constantly and any node within the transmitting range of a wireless sensor will be able to "see" this sensor. A correlation configuration of a node may therefore comprise rules similar to the rules of a network firewall, i.e. the node configuration specifies that the node only "listens" to specific sensors thereby ignoring the signals from other sensors in the transmitting range.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention the first node is correlated with an individual, such as a patient, and the correlation is determined by the first configuration. E.g. the first configuration comprises the personal data of said individual, personal data such as the social security number, name, age, blood type, sex, and the like. The correlation of a node and an individual may be provided by means of wireless data transfer, such as RFID or NFC. A correlation between a node and an individual may take place when a patient is admitted to a hospital. The patient is then typically identified via a social security number. During the admittance this information may then be transferred wirelessly to a hub which is then attached to the patient. Vital sign sensors may also be added at that moment, e.g. correlated with the hub (and thereby with the patient because the patient is correlated with the hub) and attached to the patient.

A node configuration may be stored in a memory in the node. Thus, in one embodiment of the invention said first configuration is initially (prior to transferring) stored on said first node and ultimately stored on said second node. However, the configuration of a node may be controlled and stored by a server on the network. Thus, in another embodiment of the invention the first configuration is stored on said server and initially assigned to said first node and ultimately assigned to said second node. In the preferred embodiment of the invention the transfer of the first configuration (i.e. step b) is automatically initiated and completed when said first and second nodes have been singled out in the network.

One embodiment of the invention further comprises the step of idling the first node. I.e. after the first configuration has been transferred the first node is likely not correlated with any sensors and may be provided with a status as "idle", however possibly still present on the network. Likewise, the second node may be idle initially.

When a node and a sensor must be correlated, e.g. a patient wearing a hub and a vital sign monitoring sensor, e.g. an ECG sensor, must be provided on the patient the hub and the sensor must be connected, i.e. it must somehow be ensured that this patients hub is listening to this new sensor to transmit the data to the server whereby the patient can be monitored. This step may be provided by means of a computer terminal, whereby the network system may be informed that a specific hub and a specific sensor must be correlated. However, in the preferred embodiment of the invention the correlation of a sensor and a node is provided by means of simple one-touch or one- button procedure, i.e. preferably without the use of a computer terminal. E.g. both the node and the sensor may be provided with a button and by simultaneously pressing these buttons for a predetermined time period (of a few seconds or the like) the network system may be informed this specific node and this specific sensor must be correlated and this information is stored in this node's configuration. A successful correlation between a node and a sensor may be confirmed by a signal, such as a sound. The correlation procedure may also be activated by means of the node and the sensor touching each other, e.g. by means of a specific plug, or merely being adjacent to each other.

A crucial step of the invention is singling out the first node and a second node in the network. As there is a plurality of nodes in the data network it is not straightforward to pick out two nodes from the group of nodes in the network and transfer the

configuration from one to the other, i.e. in reality the two nodes switch identity. For a person it is straightforward to select two different objects from a pool of more or less identical objects. The challenge is to submit this information to a network system, possibly without the use of a computer terminal. In one embodiment of the invention the first and second nodes are singled out by exposing them to a similar procedure, such as singled out by simultaneously exposing them to a similar procedure. Said procedure is preferably a predetermined procedure. Thus the network system may be configured to identify the event that two nodes are exposed to a similar procedure, possibly a predetermined procedure.

The procedure may involve one or more spatial movement and thereby also a certain acceleration of the nodes. Thus, in one embodiment of the invention the first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a minimum acceleration. This may e.g. be provided if each node in the data network comprises at least one accelerometer, e.g. an accelerometer that registers movements in three spatial dimensions and time.

A very user friendly and intuitive way of triggering an identity switch is to expose one or both of the nodes to some sort of movement. Thus, in a further embodiment of the invention the first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a spatial movement, such as simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a predetermined spatial movement, such as simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a synchronized movement. E.g. the two nodes are held in the same hand and shaken a number of times simultaneously, such as one, two or three times up and down. By shaking the two nodes simultaneously the person informs the network system that these two nodes are the relevant nodes.

In a further embodiment of the invention the first and second nodes are singled out by bringing them close together. The may be provided if each node in the data network comprises an NFC device. In a further embodiment of the invention the first and second nodes are singled out by bringing them within a distance of 20 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 10 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 8 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 6 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 4 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 2 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 1 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 0.5 cm from each other. In another embodiment of the invention the first and second nodes are singled out by letting them touch each other. The singling out of the two nodes may also be provided button operation, e.g. the first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously pressing a button on each node.

Another way of singling out the two relevant notes is to make use of a specialized "identity switch" device. E.g. a device which can be worn by health personal which manage the nodes. E.g. the device may emit a local electromagnetic field that is used to single out the two nodes. Thus, the first and second nodes may be singled out by placing the nodes in local electromagnetic field, either simultaneously or immediately following each other.

In a further embodiment of the invention the first and second nodes are singled out by a predetermined vocal command.

The above listed examples of how to single out the two relevant nodes may be combined with each other. E.g. for the singling out to take place it may be a precondition that the first and second nodes are adjacent to each other while they are submitted to a minimum acceleration. E.g. within some predetermined range of each other, e.g. almost touching each other if held in one hand or within a range

corresponding to the distance between the left and right hand if one node is in each hand while shaking the nodes.

The nodes are preferably adapted for being worn by a person, e.g. in the form of bracelets / wristbands adapted to be worn around the arm of an individual. In a further embodiment of the invention each node comprises means for inducing a signal in the data network when a node is mounted or dismounted on an individual, i.e. when a change of state of the node is occurring. In one embodiment of the invention ach node comprises an electrical circuit that is connected / broken when a node is mounted / dismounted, respectively, on an individual. The connection / break of the circuit may induce a signal the data network. Otherwise permanently closed circuit indicates that a node is attached to an individual, whereas a permanently open circuit indicates that a node is not attached to an individual. However, a node that is not attached to an individual may still be correlated with an individual via the configuration of the node.

In one embodiment of the invention a node is easily mounted and locked to an individual, e.g. by means of a snap lock. However, preferably a node is dismounted and unlocked from an individual by means of a special tool, i.e. it requires a special tool to dismount the node, whereby it may be prevented that anyone can dismount a node and may help to ensure that the node stays on the individual. E.g. during vital sign monitoring it is extremely important that the hub stays on the patient all the time.

As the nodes may be patient worn wireless devices they will typically be battery driven and thus requiring charging from time to time. In yet another embodiment of the invention the data network comprises charging facilities for the nodes. Thus, the configuration of a node can be changed when it is placed in or removed from a charging facility. When a specific node is being charged it is a very clear indication that this specific node is not worn by a patient and that it is not correlated with a patient. Thus, the configuration of the node may advantageously be "reset" when placed in a charging facility. In one embodiment of the invention the data network is installed in a health

infrastructure, such as a hospital. The sensors may be vital sign sensors selected from the group of heart rate sensors, blood pressure sensors, EKG sensors, EMG sensors, temperature sensors, or the like. In one embodiment of the invention the configuration of the entire network system is determined by a "state machine" stored on the server. This state machine is a real-time representation of how the platform is and may e.g. contain the configuration of all the nodes. This state-machine is constantly updated by data trickles from devices in the network, i.e. gateways, nodes, chargers, sensors, etc. The devices just feed data to the network and the state-machine keeps track of the configuration and current state of all devices in the network.

Further details

Wireless technologies developed by smartphone, tablet, and laptop manufacturers as well as other electronics companies are spilling over into the health sector, resulting in new means of increasing safety and comfort of patients and simultaneously introduce efficiencies in the health sector. Most health care professionals, and in particular nurses, greatly appreciate wireless technologies being both portable and easy to operate. Unfortunately most current products fail in both of these respects: Monitoring and communications products frequently must be operated from a workstation, which impedes the natural flow of a health care professionals workday that is characterized by a very high degree of mobility, and furthermore, products rarely offer the same degree of user friendliness as can be enjoyed in consumer products such as smartphones. As stated previously the present invention addresses these issues by reducing the number of necessary steps and moving the operative procedures away from the computer / workstation terminal.

When a sensor is first introduced into the hospital base platform an uplink is performed where a hub/wristband is used to connect to the sensing device/patch via their mutually complimentary connection ports. When the physical contact is made, the sensing device will communicate through the hub/wristband and wirelessly or wired

communicate its capabilities to the system.

The objects of the invention are met by using a solution where the electronic wristband of the medical device system is fitted with a multi-purpose bracket consisting of 1. a mechanism for locking and unlocking the bracket to secure against untimely removal of the wristband; 2. a mechanism for breaking and restoring an electric circuit to automatically alter the state of the system as the wristband is put on or removed from a patient's wrist; 3. a method to key sensor patches and thereby ensure that such sensor patches refer to the patient identity of the wristband.

Description of drawings

The invention will now be described in further detail with reference to the drawings showing exemplary embodiments of the invention where the network system is installed in a hospital and the hubs are electronic wristbands.

Fig. 1 shows, as an example, the breaking/restoration of an electric circuit when unlocking/locking a wristband,

Fig. 2 shows, as an example, a table of states conditional on unlocking/locking a wristband,

Fig. 3 shows, as an example, the built-in accelerometer of a wristband

Fig. 4 illustrates the switching of identities between wristbands according to one embodiment of the invention,

Fig. 5 shows, as an example, charging of wristbands, Fig. 6 shows, as an example, unlocking of a wristband,

Fig. 7 shows, as an example, the keying of the wristband to a patient,

Fig. 8 shows, as an example, the keying and activation of a sensor patch,

Fig. 9 shows, as an example, how multiple sensing devices can communicate with one hub according to the invention, and

Fig. 10 shows, as an example, how sensing devices can be linked with one hub via near field RF identification instead of physical contact.

Detailed description of drawings

One embodiment of the present invention is part of system that detects state changes in real life trigger/ response systems for accurately detecting real life states. One application of this system is via a wristband 102 where the system can keep track of the wristband's state via a state detection system. The wristband is intended to be applied to hospital patients and monitor various types of information. Fig. 1 illustrates a patient wearing an electronic wristband 102 around the arm 101. The wristband contains a locking mechanism 103 that consists of two parts 104, 105 and when the wristband is locked the two parts 104, 105 meet and a connection is made between them. The system monitors this connection in order to accurately identify when a wristband is closed or not. Referring to fig. 3 the wristband 301 comprises an electronic package 302 accommodating an accelerometer 304, a DSP 308 (or a computational device with similar abilities), and a reference timer 306 that is either system wide synced or from which a system wide reference time can be computed.

As stated above one embodiment of the present invention relates to the exchange of a wristband and the present invention facilitates an easy exchange. Exchange of a wristband may be necessary if the internal battery of the wristband is low, or when a malfunction occurs. Fig. 4 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a wristband exchange. Both wristbands, i.e. the first wristband 404 and the second wristband, are exposed to a synchronized kinetic movement 401. This may be achieved by holding both wristbands in one hand 402 and shake them a specific amount of times 401 . The internal electronic system of the wristbands will each receive data 305 from their internal accelerometers 304, and the DSP 308 will analyze the signal. Given that the correct signal is recognized, it will transmit this information 309 along with a timestamp 307 received from the internal timer reference 306 to the central system 310. The communication package could consist of a standard IP header 405 and footer 406 with the wristband identification information 407, the type of movement detected or specific details on the movement itself 408, and the referenced time 409.

Both wristbands would perform this process and transmit the resulting information 403 to the system 410, which would detect a correlation between the two information packages 41 1 . If no correlation occurs 412 no action is taken. But if a correlation is detected 413 it will reassign all assigned variables from the device to be exchanged (the first wristband) 404 with the device to exchange with (the second wristband) and transmit a success information back to the device to be exchanged with. The user will in a visual, aural, kinetic or other manner be informed that the operation performed was successful. Two contacts 106-107 as shown in fig. 1 b form an electrical circuit that can be measured as open or closed, and these states are used to trigger a state change in the system. Alternatives to the electric circuit, all of which are included in this invention, may be light based, galvanic skin sensor based, or other switch technologies based. When the wristbands locking mechanism changes state here unlocked/locked the wristbands electronics 203 will notice this 204 and query 205 which of the options 206 or 207 occurs, which enables acting upon the information without constantly querying what state the wristband is in. The information is then transmitted, either wirelessly or wired 209, to a separate electronic system 201 that has a state register/monitor/engine 202. When the state of the wristband is communicated to the register/monitor/engine 202, it will change the current in-system 202 state to reflect this change. Several states can be active at the same time and the outcome of the state change can depend on multiple parameters besides the wristbands state change. One embodiment of the invention makes it possible to let an electronic system know when a state change and identity swap of two exchanged devices should occur without interacting with the system via a terminal.

This invention also addresses in fig. 5 the part of the medical device system comprised of a charging station 501 that can charge one or several wristbands at the same time. The charging is in this example occurring through inductive charging but may also be done via direct charging or other such systems. The wristbands in the charger 502 will indicate their state via a visual indicator 503, such as a RGB LED. Such states could be charging yellow indicator, fully charged green indicator or malfunctioning red indicator.

When a wristband 503 is removed 504 from the charging station 505, it will notice this through the lack of charge and the previous state it was in (charged) and automatically enter into an "idle" and "not keyed to a patient" status/mode. It will then be keyed to a specific patient (figure 7). When the wristband 506 is placed upon a patient's arm 507, the locking mechanism is at first unlocked 508 and when locked 509, the locking circuit figure 1 will throw a state change and the wristband will begin to perform its core functions. A wristband 602 attached to a patient 601 and closed/locked 603 can only be removed by a special tool 605 that may take different shapes. The tool fits into special areas of the wristband 607 that would be difficult to engage for the patient wearing the wristband. The two sides of the wristband 604, 606 are kept together by this locking mechanism, and once the special tool is applied to the intended areas of the wristband it will open itself 608 and enter into a new type of state. The wristband can then be removed from the patient 609 and inserted 612 into the charging station 610. If the inserted wristband 61 1 has not been replaced by a new one on the patient, the system will automatically register that the patient is no longer monitored and discharge the patient from the system.

One embodiment of the invention furthermore relates to a "keying-mat" 706, another element of the medical device system, which is connected wirelessly or wired 707 to a computing device 708 and uses special software on the computing device 709. The "keying-mat" is in this example a short-range RFID reader that responds to a special RFID tag in the wristband. This could furthermore be accomplished with a dedicated wired connection, or other types of near-field RF, IR communication, or sensing equipment, or by other imaginable alternative means, all of which are covered by embodiments of this invention. When a wristband 703 is removed 702 from the charging station 701 , it will notice this through the lack of charge and the previous state it was in charged and automatically enter into an "idle" and "not keyed to a patient" status/mode. When the wristband 704 is in this mode and is placed 705 upon the "keying-mat" 706, the "keying-mat" will send a signal 707 to the computing device 706 containing the unique ID of the wristband 704. The computing device will then query the overall system about the status of this wristband associated to a patient?/functioning correctly?/etcetera. If the system finds that all is in order for a "keying of wristband to a patient" procedure, it will present a prompt 707 for the user to enter patient identification into. After entering this patient ID into the system, the wristband 708 will from here on be associated with that patient's ID information. The wristband will then enter into a new mode where it is "idle" and "keyed to a patient" 708.

One embodiment of the invention furthermore addresses a means of keying sensors to the wristband and thereby the identity of the patient. When a wristband is keyed to a patient and the bracket is open, it will present two parts of the wristband locking mechanism 801 and 802. Embedded into this part of the wristband 803 is a connector 807 that can form an electrical, RF, or IR connection with an external device, such as a sensor patch 806. This external device will have a port/receptor 805 that matches the specifications of the special connector 807, and when pressed together 804 or otherwise connected to each other, will associate the wristband and the patient the wristband is keyed to with the external device/sensor. Once the connection has been made 807 and the association and subsequent communication back and forth has been successful, the wristband will issue a notification of a success 808 such as an aural tone, visual indication or kinetic movement. This will indicate to the person performing the connection that it is safe to remove 809 the connection between the wristband and the sensor. Both the external device 810 and the wristband are subsequently poised to enter into their functional state. The go ahead for the entire system to enter into the functional state is given when the wristband is closed and locked to the patient (figure 1 ).

As part of this invention, multiple sensing devices 905, 906, 907, and 908 can be integrated into the platform. It is illustrated in figure 9 how four sensing devices 905, 906, 907, and 908 communicate wirelessly 904 with a single hub/wristband 903, which handles the task of packaging the received data and transmitting it to the services 901. All communication listed above is by default bi-directional, but situations could occur where some of the communication is uni-directional - no data transformations occurs the hub/wristband itself - it is merely a hub/repeater like device in the platform with regard to sending data form sensing devices to the rest of the system.

Another possibility of linking a hub with one or more sensing devices is illustrated in figure 10, where a near field RFID reader 1003 is connected with a computing system 1001 wired or wirelessly, when a hub 1002 has been placed on the RFID reader 1003 it will be initialized and placed into in this example a mode where it will actively be listening for new "linked" sensing devices.

When a sensing device 1005 is placed on the RFID reader/mat right after a hub has been "initialized" 1006 the RFID reader will read the, in the sensing device, embedded RFID information and send it to the computing system 1004. The ID will be used as an authorization key to enable integration of the sensing device into the system. This procedure can be repeated, with yet another sensing device 1009 and can be finalized by interacting with the computing device 1008 by replacing the hub on the RFID reader, or by interacting with a GUI on the computing device, or by placing a new un-bonded hub on the RFID reader to indicate that the procedure has been completed.

Examples

Example of wristband as personal hub

The wristband is the most visible part of the platform and may contain a host of visible functionalities based around the user interactions and data transmissions it allows.

The primary tasks of the hub are

• Act as data hop from the wireless sensor protocol to the mesh network protocol

• Act as hub in the mesh network

• Act as buffer for sensor data when out of range in the hospital, and prepare data burst for hand-off instead of streams.

• Locatable The secondary tasks of the hub are:

• Display information on its screen (controllable from the cloud system)

• Provide a method for keying a sensor to itself

• Alerting in various ways (rumble/tone)

• Keeping track of states (e.g. on patient, not on patient)

Example of hospital stay

A hospital stay may proceed as following: The patient will on arrival to the hospital be introduced to the monitoring routines. As part of the introduction, a nurse will ask the patient to sign a standard admittance waiver where a paragraph has been added allowing for the monitoring to be used.

The admission nurse fetches a blank, charged wristband from a charging station and places it on a keying mat. The system recognizes the wristband through the built-in NFC/RFID chip and automatically launches a small popup on the computer monitor.

The nurse enters the requested identification data, which will normally be limited to the patient's social security number. The system now knows that the specific wristband is keyed to the patient. This is the only computer interaction needed in the cases where no alarms are activated. The admittance nurse now fetches a heart rate sensor and keys the sensor to the wristband by simultaneously pressing the sensor and the wristband together. Thereafter she attaches the sensor to the patient's chest and closes the wristband causing the system to emit a single beep indicating that everything is functioning.

The nurse moves on to the next patient. When discharging the patient, the nurse simply removes the sensor and wristband. The wristband is placed in the charging rack, which will automatically register the patient as digitally discharged. The automatic digital discharge saves nurse-time since it is otherwise done manually. The nurse now needs to change wristband on a patient, maybe due to low battery. The nurse therefore takes a new wristband with full battery, e.g. from a charger. This may prompt the wristband to sends a "state change" message to the system, e.g. "not charging anymore". The nurse goes to the patient and removes the wristband with a special lock-tool. The old wristband (i.e. the first wristband) sends a "state change" message "unlocked" to the system, however the old wristband is still transmitting sensor readings from the patient to the system. The nurse takes the old wristband (first wristband, low battery) and the new wristband (second wristband, fully charged) in the same hand and shakes them together any number of times. The old wristband sends to the system a message like

"state change": at time:15:32:432, motionX:100, motionY:200, motionZ:200.

Concurrently the new wristband sends a message to the system like:

"state change": at time:15:32:432, motionX:100, motionY:200, motionZ:200.

The system is configured to see a correlation of two motions and timestamps and since it knows that the old wristband was previously on a patient but is now in an unlocked state and that the new wristband is unlocked and "unused" (fresh from a charging cycle) it can be certain that the procedure the nurse wants to instigate is actually a replacement of the old wristband with the new fully charged wristband. The system thus initiates the identity switch between the wristbands, i.e. configuration of the old wristband is send to the new wristband, e.g. "go active for these sensors and this patient data". The reception of the signals from the sensors by the new wristband is checked and when confirmed a new configuration can be sent to the old wristband, e.g. ""go inactive and idle for now". The nurse then places new wristband on the patient and new the new wristband sends "state change" "locked" to the system. The system now knows that the patient now has a different wristband and will start updating his vital sign data from this new wristband. This completes the substitution of the old wristband with the new wristband without the interaction with a computer terminal.

Claims

Claims
1 . A method for substituting a first node in a data network comprising a plurality of nodes, the first node having a first configuration, said method comprising the steps of:
a) singling out the first node and a second node in the network, and b) transferring said first configuration from the first node to the second node thereby substituting the first node with the second node.
2. The method according to claim 1 , wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by exposing them to a similar procedure.
3. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously exposing them to a similar procedure.
4. The method according to any of claims 2 to 3, wherein said procedure is a predetermined procedure.
5. The method according to any of preceding claims, further comprising the step: c) idling the first node.
6. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said second node is idle initially.
7. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein a configuration is assigned to each node in the network.
8. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first node is correlated with one or more sensors, said correlation determined by said first configuration.
9. The method according to claim 8, wherein the first node is wirelessly correlated with said one or more sensors.
10. The method according to any of claims 8 to 9, wherein the correlation of a sensor and a node is provided by means of simple one-touch or one-button procedure.
1 1 . The method according to any of claims 8 to 10, wherein an individual is wearing said one or more sensors.
12. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first node is correlated with an individual, such as a patient, said correlation determined by said first configuration.
13. The method according to claim 12, wherein said first configuration comprises the personal data of said individual, personal data such as the social security number.
14. The method according to any of claims 12 to 13, wherein the correlation of a node and an individual is provided by means of wireless data transfer, such as RFID or NFC.
15. The method according to any of claims 10 to 14, wherein said individual is wearing said one or more sensors.
16. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein each node in the data network comprises an NFC device.
17. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein each node in the data network comprises at least one accelerometer.
18. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a minimum acceleration.
19. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a spatial movement.
20. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a predetermined spatial movement.
21 . The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a synchronized movement.
22. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by bringing them close together.
23. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by bringing them within a distance of 20 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 10 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 8 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 6 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 4 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 2 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 1 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 0.5 cm from each other.
24. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by letting them touch each other.
25. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously pressing a button on each node.
26. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by placing the nodes in local electromagnetic field.
27. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by a predetermined vocal command.
28. The method according to any of claims 17 to 27, wherein said first and second nodes are adjacent to each other.
29. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein step b) is
automatically initiated and completed when said first and second nodes have been singled out in the network.
30. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein the data network is a mesh network, such as a wireless mesh network.
31 . The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein the data network comprises at least one server.
32. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein the data network comprises a plurality of gateways.
33. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein each node in the network is uniquely identifiable.
34. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein each node in the network comprises a unique hardware ID.
35. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein said first
configuration is initially (prior to transferring) stored on said first node and ultimately stored on said second node.
36. The method according to any of claims 31 to 35, wherein said first configuration is stored on said server and initially assigned to said first node and ultimately assigned to said second node.
37. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein each node is
adapted for being worn by a person.
38. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein each node is a bracelet / wristband adapted to be worn around the arm of an individual.
39. The method according to any of claims 37 to 38, wherein each node comprises means for inducing a signal in the data network when a node is mounted or dismounted on an individual.
40. The method according to claim 39, wherein each node comprises an electrical circuit that is connected / broken when a node is mounted / dismounted, respectively, on an individual, whereby a signal is induced in the data network..
41 . The method according to any of claims 37 to 38, wherein a node is mounted and locked to an individual by means of a snap lock.
42. The method according to any of claims 37 to 41 , wherein a node is dismounted and unlocked from an individual by means of a special tool.
43. The method according to any of claims 37 to 42, wherein the configuration of a node is changed when it is mounted or dismounted on an individual.
44. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein the data network comprises charging facilities for the nodes.
45. The method according to claim 44, wherein the configuration of a node is
changed when it is placed in or removed from a charging facility.
46. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein the data network is installed in a health infrastructure, such as a hospital.
47. The method according to any of preceding claims, wherein the sensors are vital sign sensors selected from the group of heart rate sensors, blood pressure sensors, ECG sensors, EMG sensors, GSR sensors, EEG sensors, pulse oximetry sensors, respiratory rate sensors, body temperature (surface and/or core) sensors, skin color sensors, blood chemistry sensors, fluid chemistry sensors, or the like.
48. A system for substituting a first node in a data network, comprising:
- a plurality of network nodes,
- means for determining when the first node and a second node is being singled out in the network, said first node having a first configuration, and
- means for transferring said first configuration from the first node to the
second node.
49. The system according to claim 48, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out when exposed to a similar procedure.
50. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 49, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out when exposed to a similar procedure simultaneously.
51 . The system according to any of claims 49 to 50, wherein said procedure is a predetermined procedure.
52. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 51 , further comprising means for idling the first node.
53. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 52, wherein said second node is idle initially.
54. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 53, further comprising means for assigning a configuration each node in the network.
55. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 54, wherein said first node is correlated with one or more sensors, said correlation determined by said first configuration.
56. The system according to claim 55, wherein the first node is wirelessly correlated with said one or more sensors.
57. The system according to any of claims 55 to 56, wherein the correlation of a sensor and a node is provided by means of simple one-touch or one-button procedure.
58. The system according to any of claims 55 to 57, wherein an individual is
wearing said one or more sensors.
59. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 58, wherein said first node is correlated with an individual, such as a patient, said correlation determined by said first configuration.
60. The system according to claim 59, wherein said first configuration comprises the personal data of said individual, personal data such as the social security number.
61 . The system according to any of claims 59 to 60, wherein the correlation of a node and an individual is provided by means of wireless data transfer, such as RFID or NFC.
62. The system according to any of claims 58 to 61 , wherein said individual is wearing said one or more sensors.
63. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 62, wherein each node in the data network comprises an NFC device and/or a RFID device.
64. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 63, wherein each node in the data network comprises at least one accelerometer.
65. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 64, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a minimum acceleration.
66. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 65, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a spatial movement.
67. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 66, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a predetermined spatial movement.
68. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 67, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously submitting said two nodes to a synchronized movement.
69. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 68, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by bringing them close together.
70. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 69, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by bringing them within a distance of 20 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 10 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 8 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 6 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 4 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 2 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 1 cm from each other, such as within a distance of 0.5 cm from each other.
71 . The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 70, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by letting them touch each other.
72. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 71 , wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by simultaneously pressing a button on each node.
73. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 72, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by placing the nodes in local electromagnetic field.
74. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 73, wherein said first and second nodes are singled out by a predetermined vocal command.
75. The system according to any of claims 48 to 74, wherein said first and second nodes are adjacent to each other.
76. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 75, wherein the data network is a mesh network, such as a wireless mesh network.
77. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 76, further comprising at least one server connected to the network.
78. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 77, further comprising a plurality of gateways as part of the network.
79. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 78, further comprising means for uniquely identifying each node in the network.
80. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 79, wherein each node in the network comprises a unique hardware ID.
81 . The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 80, wherein said first configuration is initially (prior to transferring) stored on said first node and ultimately stored on said second node.
82. The system according to any of claims 77 to 81 , wherein said first configuration is stored on said server.
83. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 82, wherein each node is adapted for being worn by a person.
84. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 83, wherein each node is a bracelet / wristband adapted to be worn around the arm of an individual.
85. The system according to any of claims 48 to 84, wherein each node comprises means for inducing a signal in the data network when a node is mounted or dismounted on an individual.
86. The system according to claim 85, wherein each node comprises an electrical circuit that is connected / broken when a node is mounted / dismounted, respectively, on an individual, whereby a signal is induced in the data network..
87. The system according to any of claims 83 to 86, wherein a node is mounted and locked to an individual by means of a snap lock.
88. The system according to any of claims 83 to 87, wherein a node is dismounted and unlocked from an individual by means of a special tool.
89. The system according to any of claims 83 to 88, wherein the configuration of a node is changed when it is mounted or dismounted on an individual.
90. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 89, further comprising charging facilities for the nodes, said charging facilities preferably connected to the data network.
91 . The system according to claim 90, further comprising means for changing the configuration of a node is changed when it is placed in or removed from a charging facility.
92. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 91 , wherein the data network is installed in a health infrastructure, such as a hospital.
93. The system according to any of preceding claims 48 to 92, wherein the sensors are vital sign sensors selected from the group of heart rate sensors, blood pressure sensors, ECG sensors, EMG sensors, GSR sensors, EEG sensors, pulse oximetry sensors, respiratory rate sensors, body temperature (surface and/or core) sensors, skin color sensors, blood chemistry sensors, fluid chemistry sensors, or the like.
94. The system according to claim 48, further comprising the means for carrying out the steps of any of claims 1 to 47.
95. A computer comprising computer code portions constituting means for executing the methods of any of claims 1 to 47.
PCT/DK2011/050259 2010-07-15 2011-07-01 Hub exchange in medical device network WO2012006999A2 (en)

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