WO2015047166A1 - A telecare system and an electronic lock device for use therein, and an associated method for monitoring attendance to a telecare alarm event in a telecare system - Google Patents

A telecare system and an electronic lock device for use therein, and an associated method for monitoring attendance to a telecare alarm event in a telecare system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2015047166A1
WO2015047166A1 PCT/SE2014/051089 SE2014051089W WO2015047166A1 WO 2015047166 A1 WO2015047166 A1 WO 2015047166A1 SE 2014051089 W SE2014051089 W SE 2014051089W WO 2015047166 A1 WO2015047166 A1 WO 2015047166A1
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WO
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Prior art keywords
telecare
lock
configured
alarm
device
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/SE2014/051089
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French (fr)
Inventor
Olle Bliding
Johan Hörberg
Peter SVENSK
Original Assignee
Phoniro Ab
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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B25/00Alarm systems in which the location of the alarm condition is signalled to a central station, e.g. fire or police telegraphic systems
    • G08B25/01Alarm systems in which the location of the alarm condition is signalled to a central station, e.g. fire or police telegraphic systems characterised by the transmission medium
    • G08B25/08Alarm systems in which the location of the alarm condition is signalled to a central station, e.g. fire or police telegraphic systems characterised by the transmission medium using communication transmission lines
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C9/00Individual entry or exit registers
    • G07C9/00174Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys
    • G07C9/00309Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated with bidirectional data transmission between data carrier and locks
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C9/00Individual entry or exit registers
    • G07C9/00174Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys
    • G07C9/00896Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys specially adapted for particular uses
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B21/00Alarms responsive to a single specified undesired or abnormal operating condition and not elsewhere provided for
    • G08B21/02Alarms for ensuring the safety of persons
    • G08B21/04Alarms for ensuring the safety of persons responsive to non-activity, e.g. of elderly persons
    • G08B21/0438Sensor means for detecting
    • G08B21/0446Sensor means for detecting worn on the body to detect changes of posture, e.g. a fall, inclination, acceleration, gait
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C9/00Individual entry or exit registers
    • G07C9/00174Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys
    • G07C9/00571Electronically operated locks; Circuits therefor; Nonmechanical keys therefor, e.g. passive or active electrical keys or other data carriers without mechanical keys operated by interacting with a central unit

Abstract

A telecare system (100) comprises a telecare alarm center (TAC) and a plurality of telecare terminals (TT) for use by respective caretakers (CT) at their respective caretaker residences (CTR). Each telecare terminal (TTi) is configured for transmitting a telecare alarm (1) to the telecare alarm center upon occurrence of an alarm event at the caretaker residence (CTRi). The telecare alarm center is configured, as a result of receiving the telecare alarm from the telecare terminal, to transmit a telecare action request (2) to a caregiving entity (CGC; SG; ES). The telecare alarm center is configured for monitoring the receipt of a telecare action performance confirmation (5) indicating that a caregiving person (CGPj; SG; ES) has appeared at the caretaker residence for the purpose of attending to the alarm event. The telecare system also comprises, for each of the caretaker residences (CTR), an electronic lock device (LDi) for mounting to a door (50i) of the caretaker residence (CTRi). The electronic lock device comprises a transceiver (540) capable of wireless interaction (4a) with a key device (KDk), an electrically controlled lock actuator (512) configured for actuation of a lock mechanism (52) of a lock (54) of the door, and a processing unit (510) coupled to the transceiver and configured to cause the lock actuator to actuate the lock mechanism of the lock in response to wireless interaction with the key device. The processing unit is further configured to cause (4b; 4b'; 4b") generation of the telecare action performance confirmation (5).

Description

A TELECARE SYSTEM AND AN ELECTRONIC LOCK DEVICE FOR USE

THEREIN. AND AN ASSOCIATED METHOD FOR MONITORING ATTENDANCE TO A TELECARE ALARM EVENT IN A TELECARE SYSTEM Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to telecare, and more particularly to a telecare system comprising a telecare alarm center and a plurality of telecare terminals for use by respective caretakers at their respective caretaker residences, each telecare terminal being configured for transmitting a telecare alarm to the telecare alarm center upon occurrence of an alarm event at the caretaker residence, wherein the telecare alarm center is configured, as a result of receiving the telecare alarm from the telecare terminal, to transmit a telecare action request to a caregiving entity, and wherein the telecare alarm center is configured for monitoring the receipt of a telecare action performance confirmation indicating that a caregiving person has appeared at the caretaker residence for the purpose of attending to the alarm event.

The invention also relates to an associated method of monitoring attendance to a telecare alarm event in a telecare system. Furthermore, the invention also relates to an electronic lock device for use in such a telecare system. Background of the Invention

In modern times, as our society is facing an ageing population, needs and expectations have arisen for an efficient and yet dignified manner of allowing elderly people, as well as peoples with physical, medical or mental handicaps, to remain living at their private residences or day care centers, rather than conventional caretaking institutions such as hospitals.

People in the categories above often need attendance or assistance on a frequent basis. Such attendance or assistance is typically scheduled and provided by personnel from a caregiver center, which visits the caretaker a number of times a day or week to perform housekeeping, medication or nursing services. However, the need for attendance or assistance cannot always be predicted and scheduled in advance; the caretaker may be subjected to an accident, sudden illness or another kind of situation where urgent attendance or assistance is needed. To this end, the field of telecare systems has evolved. An example of a typical telecare system 10 is shown in Fig 1.

In the telecare system 10 of Fig 1, a telecare alarm center TAC is provided. Moreover, a plurality of telecare terminals, TT, are provided for use by respective caretakers, CT, at their respective caretaker residences, CTR. (Only one caretaker residence, CTRi, one caretaker, CTi, and one telecare terminal, TTi, are seen in Fig 1.) Each individual telecare terminal TTi is configured for transmitting a telecare alarm 1 to the telecare alarm center when an alarm event occurs in the particular caretaker residence CTRi in which that telecare terminal TTi is installed. Typically, the alarm event may be triggered by the caretaker CTi actuating an alarm button on the telecare terminal TTi, hence signaling for assistance or attendance.

The telecare terminal TTi may typically take the form of a stationary telephone device which is connected via a communications channel 102 to the telecare alarm center TAC. The communications channel 102 may typically involve a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), a mobile telecommunication network (e.g. GSM, UMTS, LTE) or a wide area network (WAN) (e.g. a broadband IP network), or combinations thereof. Quite often, the telecare terminal TTi is supplemented by a portable unit, such as a wristbelt device carried around the caretaker's wrist. Such a wristbelt device typically has an alarm button and wireless communication means for transmitting a local alarm signal to the telecare terminal, which as a result generates and sends the telecare alarm 1 to the telecare alarm center TAC.

As seen in Fig 1, the telecare alarm center TAC has a telecare alarm center server, TAC-S, and a telecare alarm center database, TAC-DB. When receiving the telecare alarm 1 from the telecare terminal TTi, the telecare alarm center TAC is configured to transmit a telecare action request 2 to a caregiving entity. This may be done purely automatically or by one or more human operators located at the telecare alarm center TAC, using a computer program run on the telecare alarm center server TAC-S and reference data stored in the telecare alarm center database, TAC-DB.

The telecare alarm center TAC sends the telecare action request 2 over a communications channel 104 to the caregiving entity. The communications channel 104 may typically involve a PSTN, a mobile telecommunication network or WAN, or combinations thereof. Typically, the caregiving entity will be a caregiver center (CGC) which normally provides scheduled caregiving services to the caretaker CTi. By issuing the telecare action request 2 to the caregiver center CGC, the telecare alarm center TAC thus urges the caregiver center CGC to attend to the abnormal (i.e. non- scheduled) alarm situation at the caretaker's residence CTRi, and expects confirmatory information from the caregiver center CGC.

To this end, the caregiver center CGC typically sends a telecare action request confirmation 3 back to the telecare alarm center TAC upon receipt of the telecare action request 2. This may cause the telecare alarm center TAC to move the alarm event from a "code red" status (an unresolved alarm event has been reported) to a "code yellow" status (an appropriate action has been requested). However, the telecare alarm center TAC must keep on monitoring the developments of the alarm event, since it has not yet any knowledge whether the alarm event has actually been attended to.

The caregiver center CGC may have a caregiver center server CGC-S and a caregiver center database CGC-DB to allow automatic or operator-controlled allocation of an actual person to be instructed to attend to the alarm event, and, ultimately, the caretaker CTi, at the caretaker residence CTRi. This actual person may often be one among a team of caregiver personnel CGP being in service at the caregiver center CGC. Such a person is indicated as CGPi in Fig 1.

The allocated action-taking, caregiving person CGPi is then expected to transport himself, as seen at 120, to the caretaker residence CTRi, enter it typically through a front door 50i, and of course attend to the alarm event (caretaker CTi) which gave rise to the telecare alarm 1. The caregiving person CGPi is expected to report back to the caregiving entity which sent him (i.e. the caregiver center CGC in Fig 1). To this end, the caregiving person CGPi sends a telecare action performance report 4 over a communication channel 106, which may typically involve a PSTN, a mobile

telecommunication network or WAN, or combinations thereof. This may be made orally as a phone report over a conventional phone call (for instance via the telecare terminal TTi or a mobile phone carried by the caregiving person CGPi). Alternatively, it may be done electronically by executing a certain reporting function in a computer program run by a portable computer terminal or smartphone carried by the caregiving person CGPi, or being installed in the caretaker residence CTRi.

Upon receipt of the telecare action performance report 4, the caregiving entity

(i.e. the caregiver center CGC in Fig 1) will typically generate a telecare action performance confirmation 5 and send it to the telecare alarm center TAC over a communication channel, such as channel 104 in Fig 1 or a separate channel. Upon receipt of the telecare action performance confirmation 5, the telecare alarm center TAC may move the alarm event from the "code yellow" status to a "code green" status, representing completion of the handling of the alarm event related to the telecare alarm 1 from the telecare alarm center TAC's point of view.

Telecare systems in the prior art, including the telecare system 10 of Fig 1 as described above, have a number of shortcomings and drawbacks. One problem lies in the low degree of confidence, or trust, that the telecare alarm center TAC can put in the responsive information received from or about the caregiving entity, and its correlation with an actual appearance by the right caregiver person at the right caretaker residence. It is to be noticed that the telecare action request confirmation 3 from the caregiver center CGC only confirms to the telecare alarm center TAC that the telecare action request 2 has been duly received; it says nothing about the actual attendance to the alarm event in question.

Moreover, the fact that the caregiving person CGPi himself generates the telecare action performance report 4 has its drawbacks. Firstly, the telecare alarm center TAC (nor the caregiver center CGC) cannot know where the caregiving person CGPi is actually located when he generates the report. There is a risk that the caregiving person CGPi generates the report too early, i.e. on his way 120 to the caretaker residence CTRi, before arriving there. Then, if for some reason the caregiving person CGPi does not actually appear at the caretaker residence CTRi, the telecare alarm center TAC will clear the alarm situation based on the misunderstanding that the alarm event has been attended to, even though this is actually not the case. As a result, the caretaker CTi will be let down and left on his own without attendance, which of course may be potentially very hazardous.

And, even if the caregiving person CGPi does appear at the right caretaker residence CTRi and generates the telecare action performance report 4 while being at the foresteps of the door 50i, this does not necessarily mean that he will able to access the caretaker residence CTRi, i.e. does he have the right key to the door 50i?

The situation is complicated even further by the fact that in some situations and for some caretakers CT, the caregiving entity that received the telecare action request 2 will have to invoke an alternative caregiving entity to attend to the alarm situation. Such an alternative caregiving entity may for instance be a security guard service or an emergency service, not seen in Fig 1 but indicated on other drawings as SG and ES, respectively. This may be the case for instance when the nature of the alarm event is such that special resources are required, e.g. a reported burglar attempt, a suspected fire hazard, or life-threatening sudden illness of the caretaker CTi.

A related situation is with certain kinds of caretakers CT who do not need regular, scheduled attention by the caregiver center CGC but still has some impairment which motivates the provision of a telecare terminal TT for safety reasons should an occasional abnormal situation occur at the caretaker residence CTRi. In such a case, the caretaker CT may not even be a known user at the caregiver center CGC, and the telecare alarm center TAC will have to send the telecare action request 2 directly to the alternative caregiving entity without involving the caregiver center CGC. Alternative caregiving entities SG, ES typically have thousands of potential caretakers CT. Not only is it uncertain if they have a copy of the right key to the caretaker residence CTRi, but in addition it is at best uncertain if they are familiar with the correct way of reporting back to the telecare alarm center TAC upon attendance of the alarm event. Therefore, the problem from the telecare alarm center TAC's perspective, to obtain an efficient and confident monitoring of the attendance to a telecare alarm event, is made even harder.

Generally, in the field of telecare, there is room for improvements when it comes to the reporting or monitoring of a caregiving person having appeared at a caretaker residence for the purpose of attending to an alarm event at the caretaker residence.

Summary of the Invention

In view of the above, an objective of the invention is to solve or at least reduce the problems discussed above.

In view of the above, a first aspect of the present invention is a telecare system, comprising a telecare alarm center and a plurality of telecare terminals for use by respective caretakers at their respective caretaker residences, each telecare terminal being configured for transmitting a telecare alarm to the telecare alarm center upon occurrence of an alarm event at the caretaker residence.

The telecare alarm center is configured, as a result of receiving the telecare alarm from the telecare terminal, to transmit a telecare action request to a caregiving entity. The telecare alarm center is configured for monitoring the receipt of a telecare action performance confirmation indicating that a caregiving person has appeared at the caretaker residence for the purpose of attending to the alarm event.

The telecare system is characterized by:

for each of the caretaker residences, an electronic lock device for mounting to a door of the caretaker residence, wherein the electronic lock device comprises:

a transceiver capable of wireless interaction with a key device;

an electrically controlled lock actuator configured for actuation of a lock mechanism of a lock of the door; and

a processing unit coupled to the transceiver and configured to cause the lock actuator to actuate the lock mechanism of the lock in response to wireless interaction with the key device. The processing unit is further configured to cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation. In one or more embodiments, the processing unit of the lock device is configured to cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation only once the key device has been verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism of the lock of the door to which the lock device is mounted.

Furthermore, the processing unit of the lock device may be configured to verify the authority of the key device by analyzing the compliance of access control data received from the key device during the wireless interaction, with respect to access control data stored in the lock device.

In one or more embodiments, the telecare system further comprises an access control system for the purpose of controlling the access to the plurality of lock devices for a plurality of users with a plurality of key devices, wherein the access control system includes an access control system server and an access control system database, the access control system database being configured to contain cross-reference data that defines the access rights of respective ones of the key devices and corresponding ones of the users to respective ones of the lock devices.

Furthermore, each lock device may comprise a local database configured to store a replicated version, or a subset thereof, of the contents of the access control system database, wherein the processing unit of the lock device is configured to verify the authority of the key device by determining an identity of the key device during the wireless interaction and by checking the authority of the key device thus identified by cross-reference in the local database.

In one or more embodiments, the processing unit of the lock device is configured to cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation by generating the telecare action performance confirmation locally in the lock device and sending it to the key device for further forwarding towards the telecare alarm center.

Furthermore, the generated telecare action performance confirmation may be forwarded by the key device through the access control system to the telecare alarm center.

In one or more embodiments, the processing unit of the lock device is configured to cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation by generating the telecare action performance confirmation locally in the lock device and sending it to the telecare terminal for further forwarding to the telecare alarm center.

The lock device may further comprise a local battery power unit as a power source for powering the lock device, wherein the processing unit of the lock device is further configured to include, in or with the generated telecare action performance confirmation, information about a remaining charge level of the battery power unit.

In one or more embodiments, the processing unit of the lock device is configured to cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation by instructing or allowing the key device, once verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism of the lock of the door to which the lock device is mounted, to generate the telecare action performance confirmation and send it towards the telecare alarm center.

In one or more embodiments, where the caregiving entity to which the telecare action request is transmitted is a caregiver center, the processing unit of the lock device may be configured to cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation by instructing or allowing the key device, once verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism of the lock of the door to which the lock device is mounted, to generate a telecare action performance report to be sent to the caregiver center, and the caregiver center may be configured, in response to receiving the telecare action performance report, to generate the telecare action performance confirmation and send it to the telecare alarm center.

In one or more embodiments, the processing unit of the lock device is configured to cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation by informing the key device that it has been verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism of the lock of the door to which the lock device is mounted, the key device reporting this to the access control system, and the access control system being configured to generate the telecare action performance confirmation and send it to the telecare alarm center.

The aforementioned caregiving entity may, for instance, include one or more of a caregiver center, a security guard service and an emergency service.

The aforementioned occurrence of an alarm event at the caretaker residence may, for instance, include one or more of manual actuation by the caretaker of an alarm function of the telecare terminal, automatic detection by a sensor device of an abnormal condition for the caretaker, and automatic detection by a sensor device of an abnormal condition for the caretaker residence.

Further features of the telecare system according to the first aspect of the invention appear from the detailed description and drawings. A second aspect of the present invention is a method of monitoring attendance to a telecare alarm event in a telecare system, where the method involves, at a telecare alarm center:

receiving a telecare alarm from a telecare terminal located at a caretaker residence;

transmitting a telecare action request to a caregiving entity so as to initiate a telecare action involving attending to an alarm event at the caretaker residence; and monitoring for receipt of a telecare action performance confirmation indicating that a caregiving person has appeared at the caretaker residence for the purpose of attending to the alarm event,

wherein generation of the telecare action performance confirmation has been caused by an electronic lock device being mounted to a door of the caretaker residence and being configured for actuation of a lock mechanism of a lock of the door in response to wireless interaction with a key device.

In addition, the second aspect of the present invention may comprise steps for performing any of the functional features of the telecare system referred to above for the first aspect of the invention.

A third aspect of the present invention is an electronic lock device for mounting to a door of a caretaker residence and for use in a telecare system which has a telecare alarm center and a plurality of telecare terminals for use by respective caretakers at their respective caretaker residences, each telecare terminal being configured for transmitting a telecare alarm to the telecare alarm center upon occurrence of an alarm event at the caretaker residence, wherein the telecare alarm center is configured, as a result of receiving the telecare alarm from the telecare terminal, to transmit a telecare action request to a caregiving entity, and wherein the telecare alarm center is configured for monitoring the receipt of a telecare action performance confirmation indicating that a caregiving person has appeared at the caretaker residence for the purpose of attending to the alarm event.

The electronic lock device is characterized by:

a transceiver capable of wireless interaction with a key device;

an electrically controlled lock actuator configured for actuation of a lock mechanism of a lock of the door; and

a processing unit coupled to the transceiver and configured to cause the lock actuator to actuate the lock mechanism of the lock in response to wireless interaction with the key device, wherein the processing unit is further configured to cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation.

In addition, the third aspect of the present invention may comprise means or other structural elements capable of performing the same or corresponding functions of the lock device in the telecare system referred to above for the first aspect of the invention.

Other objectives, features and advantages of the present invention will appear from the following detailed disclosure as well as from the drawings.

Generally, all terms used in the claims are to be interpreted according to their ordinary meaning in the technical field, unless explicitly defined otherwise herein. All references to "a/an/the [element, device, component, means, step, etc]" are to be interpreted openly as referring to at least one instance of said element, device, component, means, step, etc., unless explicitly stated otherwise. The steps of any method disclosed herein do not have to be performed in the exact order disclosed, unless explicitly stated.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The above, as well as additional objectives, features and advantages of the present invention, will be better understood through the following illustrative and non- limiting detailed description of embodiments of the present invention, reference being made to the appended drawings.

Fig 1 is a schematic view of a telecare system according to the prior art.

Fig 2 is a schematic view of a telecare system illustrating the present invention in general terms.

Figs 3 a to 3 c are schematic views of different exemplary embodiments of the telecare system according to the present invention.

Fig 4 is a schematic block diagram of an exemplary key device which may interact with an electronic lock device in the telecare system shown in the other drawings.

Fig 5 is a schematic block diagram of an electronic lock device according to one embodiment of the present invention, adapted for use in the telecare system shown in the other drawings.

Fig 6 is a schematic view of an access control system which may be used in embodiments of the telecare system shown in the other drawings. Fig 7 is a schematic flowchart diagram of a method of monitoring attendance to a telecare alarm event in a telecare system according to one embodiment of the present invention. Detailed Description of Embodiments

Fig 2, which is a schematic view of a telecare system 100 illustrating the present invention in general terms, will now be described. Reference numerals which are the same as in the prior art telecare system 10 of Fig 1 represent the same or functionally equivalent elements as those in Fig 1; the description of those elements has therefore already been given in the background section and will not be repeated in detail in the present section for reasons of brevity. The following brief description is considered fully sufficient.

The telecare system 100 of Fig 2 comprises a telecare alarm center TAC and a plurality of telecare terminals TT for use by respective caretakers CT at their respective caretaker residences CTR. Each telecare terminal TTi is configured for transmitting a telecare alarm 1 to the telecare alarm center upon occurrence of an alarm event at the caretaker residence CTRi

The alarm event at the caretaker residence CTRi may for instance occur because of manual actuation by the caretaker CTi of an alarm function of the telecare terminal TTi. This may involve pressing an alarm button on the telecare terminal or an alarm button on a wristbelt, as described in the background section.

Alternatively, the alarm event at the caretaker residence CTRi may occur because of automatic detection by a sensor device of an abnormal condition for the caretaker. Such a sensor device may for instance be an accelerometer-based or optical fall sensor detecting a fall accident for the caretaker, a movement sensor detecting a period of immobility for the caretaker, or an acoustic sensor detecting a cry for help or a moan from the caretaker.

As a further alternative, the alarm event at the caretaker residence CTRi may occur because of automatic detection by a sensor device of an abnormal condition for the caretaker residence. Such a sensor device may for instance be a smoke, fire or humidity sensor detecting a hazardous situation in the caretaker residence, or a burglar alarm sensor detecting a burglar attempt into the caretaker residence.

As already described in the background section, the telecare alarm center TAC is configured, as a result of receiving the telecare alarm 1 from the telecare terminal TTi, to transmit a telecare action request to a caregiving entity. The caregiving entity is shown to be a caregiver center CGC in Fig 2; it may however be an alternative caregiving entity such as a security guard service SG or an emergency service ES. In response, as in Fig 1, the caregiving entity may issue a telecare action request confirmation 2 to the telecare alarm center TAC.

The telecare alarm center TAC is configured for monitoring the receipt of a telecare action performance confirmation 5 indicating that a caregiving person CGPj (or alternatively SG or ES) has appeared at the caretaker residence CTRi for the purpose of attending to the alarm event.

The novel and inventive features of the telecare system 100 of Fig 2 over the prior art telecare system 10 of Fig 1 will now be described.

For each of the caretaker residences CTR, an electronic lock device LDi is provided for mounting to a door 50i of the caretaker residence CTRi. The electronic lock device LDi, possible but non-limiting embodiments of which will be described in more detail later with reference to for instance Fig 5, comprises a transceiver (Fig 5, 540) capable of wireless interaction 4a with a key device KDk. Possible but non-limiting embodiments of the key device KDk which will be described in more detail later with reference to for instance Fig 4.

The electronic lock device LDi also comprises an electrically controlled lock actuator (Fig 5, 512) configured for actuation of a lock mechanism (Fig 5, 52) of a lock (Fig 5, 54) of the door 50i.

The electronic lock device LDi furthermore comprises a processing unit (Fig 5, 510) coupled to the transceiver and configured to cause the lock actuator to actuate the lock mechanism of the lock in response to wireless interaction with the key device KDk. The processing unit is further configured to cause 4b generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5, to be received by the telecare alarm center TAC. As is indicated schematically at 130 in Fig 2, this may occur in cooperation with other elements in the telecare system 100. Possible but non-limiting embodiments in this regard will be described later with reference to Figs 3a to 3c.

Hence, from a functional perspective and as is also illustrated in Fig 7, the telecare alarm center TAC operates in the following manner to monitor the attendance to a telecare alarm event in the telecare system 100:

First, in a step 710, the telecare alarm center TAC receives a telecare alarm 1 from a telecare terminal TTi located at a caretaker residence CTRi. Then, in a step 720, the telecare alarm center TAC transmits a telecare action request 2 to a caregiving entity CGC, SG or ES so as to initiate a telecare action involving attending to an alarm event at the caretaker residence CTRi.

Further on, in a step 730, the telecare alarm center TAC monitors for receipt of a telecare action performance confirmation 5 indicating that a caregiving person CGPj, SG or ES has appeared at the caretaker residence for the purpose of attending to the alarm event, wherein generation of the telecare action performance confirmation has been caused 4b by an electronic lock device LDi being mounted to a door 50i of the caretaker residence and being configured for actuation of a lock mechanism 52 of a lock 54 of the door in response to wireless interaction 4a with a key device KDi.

The provision of an electronic lock device LDi, which interacts wirelessly with a key device KDk and which serves to cause 4b generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5, in the telecare system 100 will solve or at least reduce the problems discussed above with reference to the prior art telecare system 10. This will be more apparent from the remainder of this detailed description, particularly with reference to Figs 3a to 3c.

First, however, Fig 4 is a schematic block diagram of an exemplary key device KD which may interact with an electronic lock device LD in the telecare system 100 shown in the other drawings. In the example disclosed in Fig 4, the key device KD is a mobile terminal, e.g. a cellular telephone, personal digital assistant (PDA), smart phone, surf pad, etc., which is capable of communicating with a telecommunications system. Thus, the caregiving person CGPj, SG or ES may use the key device KD for various telecommunication services, such as voice calls, Internet browsing, video calls, data calls, facsimile transmissions, still image transmissions, video transmissions, electronic messaging, and e-commerce. Generally, these telecommunication services are not central within the context of the present invention; there are no limitations to any particular set of services in this respect. Therefore, only components which are somehow pertinent to the inventive functionality are shown in Fig 4.

As seen in Fig 4, the key device KD has a network interface 430 for connecting to one or more communications network(s). The network interface 430 may comply with any commercially available mobile telecommunications standard, including but not limited to GSM, UMTS, LTE, D-AMPS, CDMA2000, FOMA and TD-SCDMA.

Alternatively or additionally, the network interface 430 may comply with a wireless data communication standard such as WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network)/WiFi. In an advantageous embodiment, the key device KD communicates with an access control system ACS which is shown in Fig 3a and will be described in more detail with reference to Fig 6.

The key device KD also has a user interface 420, which may include a display 422 and a set of keys 424 or other input device, as well as other known user interface elements like a speaker and a microphone. The caregiving person CGPj, SG or ES may control the operation of, and exchange data with, the key device KD over the user interface 420.

Further, the key device KD has a wireless transceiver 440 for interaction 4a (and, if applicable, 4b, Fig 3a; 4b', Fig 3b) with the electronic lock device LD. In an advantageous embodiment, the wireless transceiver 440 is capable of short-range wireless data communication such as, for instance, Bluetooth®, WLAN/WiFi, NFC (Near Field Communication), RF-ID (Radio Frequency Identification) or IrDA (Infrared Data Association).

A processing unit 410 is the overall responsible for the operation and control of the different components of the key device KD. The processing unit 410 may be implemented in any known controller technology, including but not limited to a processor (PLC, CPU, DSP), FPGA, ASIC or any other suitable digital and/or analogue circuitry capable of performing the intended functionality.

Finally, the key device KD has a memory 450 which is operatively connected to the processing unit 410. The memory 450 may be implemented by any known memory technology, including but not limited to E(E)PROM, S(D)RAM and flash memory, and it may also include secondary storage such as a magnetic or optical disc. Physically, the memory 450 may consist of one unit or a plurality of units which together constitute the memory 450 on a logical level. In some embodiments, it may be implemented at least partly by a storage area in another component of the key device KD, such as the processing unit 410 and/or the wireless transceiver 440.

In addition to storing various program instructions and data for the various functions and applications which are typically available in a mobile terminal, the memory 450 may also comprise computer program instructions 452 for an access control application used by the caregiving person when seeking access to the caretaker residence CTRi by actuating the lock of the door 50i through the electronic lock device LD.

The memory 450 may also comprise prestored access control data 470 to be transmitted to the electronic lock device LD when access to the caretaker residence CTRi is sought. Alternatively or additionally, access control data 470' may be input by the caregiving person via the user interface 420 of the key device KD, for transmission to the electronic lock device LD when access to the caretaker residence CTRi is sought. Alternatively or additionally, access control data 470" may be retrieved by the key device KD from a remote server (such as, for instance an access control server ACS S shown in Fig 6) before or during the access attempt to the caretaker residence CTRi.

Other kinds of key devices than mobile terminal may be operable in and with the telecare system 100, including but not limited to RF-ID tags or NFC enabled devices.

Fig 5 is a schematic block diagram of an electronic lock device LD according to one embodiment of the present invention, adapted for use in the telecare system 100 shown in the other drawings. The electronic lock device LD is adapted for mounting to a door 50 of a caretaker residence CTR and more specifically serves to cause actuation of a lock mechanism 52 of a lock 54 of the door to the caretaker residences (CTR) by means of an electrically controlled lock actuator 512, so as to allow the door 50 to be opened. Hence, to "cause actuation of a lock mechanism of a lock" shall be construed, in this document, to include the activity of affecting directly or indirectly a member, means, element, module, etc, of the lock mechanism so that the lock switches from a first state in which unlocking of the lock is prevented to a second state in which unlocking of the lock is no longer prevented.

With reference to Fig 5, the lock device LD generally comprises the following main components. A processing unit 510 is the overall responsible for the operation and control of the different components of the lock device LD. The processing unit 510 may be implemented in any known controller technology, including but not limited to a processor (PLC, CPU, DSP), FPGA, ASIC or any other suitable digital and/or analogue circuitry capable of performing the intended functionality.

The processing unit 510 is operatively coupled to the lock actuator 512 so as to cause actuation of the lock mechanism 52 upon successful verification of the key device KD's authority to unlock the lock 54 (i.e. to gain access to the caretaker residence CTR).

The lock device LD of the illustrated embodiment is a stand-alone, autono- mously operating device which requires no wire-based installations, neither for communication nor for power supply. Instead, the lock device LD is powered by a local battery power unit 520 which comprises one or more long-life batteries. It interacts with key devices KD, as already mentioned, by wireless activities. The lock device 40 therefore has a wireless transceiver 540 for interaction 4a (and, if applicable, 4b, Fig 3a; 4b', Fig 3b) with the key device KD. In an advantageous embodiment, the wireless transceiver 540 is capable of short-range wireless data communication such as, for instance, Bluetooth®, WLAN/WiFi, NFC, RF-ID or IrDA.

The lock device LD of the disclosed embodiment further includes a real-time clock 530 capable of providing the processing unit 510 with an accurate value of the current time. However, embodiments are also possible where no real-time clock is provided.

Finally, the lock device LD has a memory 550 which is operatively connected to the processing unit 510. The memory 550 may be implemented by any known memory technology, including but not limited to E(E)PROM, S(D)RAM and flash memory, and it may also include secondary storage such as a magnetic or optical disc. Physically, the memory 550 may consist of one unit or a plurality of units which together constitute the memory 550 on a logical level. In some embodiments, it may be implemented at least partly by a storage area in another component of the lock device LD, such as the processing unit 510 and/or the wireless transceiver 540.

The memory 550 serves to store various computer program instructions and work data for functions to be performed by the processing unit 510 in order to carry out the tasks of the lock device LD. For instance, these program instructions define a main access control module 552 which is responsible for the general parts of the lock device- side functionality when interacting with the KD for the purpose of a potential unlocking of the lock of the door 50. A communication module 560 will handle the actual communication with the key device KD in cooperation with the wireless transceiver 540. There may also be an encryption/decryption module for safe communication to and from the lock device LD, such encryption/decryption being based, for instance, on AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).

Moreover, the memory 550 serves to store access control data 570 to be used for determining whether or not the KD which is seeking access to the caretaker residence CTRi shall be granted access or not. In one embodiment, such stored access control data 570 may be contained in a local database LD DB stored in the memory 550.

The processing unit 510 of the lock device LD is preferably configured to cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5 only once the key device KD has been verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism 52 of the lock 54 of the door 50i to which the lock device LD is mounted. This represents an improvement over the prior art telecare system 10 of Fig 1, in that it has now been made sure that the telecare action performance confirmation 5 will be generated only if the key device KD has been found to be allowed to access the caretaker residence CTR and has actually caused unlocking of the lock 54 of the door 50.

Hence, the processing unit 510 of the lock device LD is configured to verify the authority of the key device KD by analyzing the compliance of the access control data 470, 470', 470" as received from the key device KD during the wireless interaction 4a, with respect to the access control data 570 stored in the lock device LD.

In one or more embodiments, this analysis may involve checking an identity 470 of the key device KD against a prestored allowed key device identity 570 or a list of allowed key device identities in the LD DB. Such a key device identity may, for instance, be represented by a Bluetooth® ID, a MAC address, an IP address, a WiFi address, a serial number, and combinations thereof.

In one or more embodiments, this analysis may involve checking user data 470', having been input on the key device by the caregiving person CGPj, SG or ES, against corresponding reference data 570 in the electronic lock device LD. Such user data may for instance pertain to a password or PIN code, a fingerprint image, an image for face recognition, an image for retinal scan, etc.

In one or more embodiments, this analysis may involve validating a received digital certificate or signature 470 by using asymmetric cryptographic principles.

In one or more embodiments, this analysis may involve checking a received shared secret 470 against a stored copy 570 of the shared secret.

Combinations of these exemplary alternatives are also possible; the lock device LD may in other words verify the authority of the key device KD by two or more tests or analyses in combination.

Once the key device KD has been successfully verified as authorized, the processing unit 510 will control the lock actuator 512 to cause actuation of the lock mechanism 52 of the lock 54. In addition, the processing unit 510 will also cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5, as already mentioned.

For further possible implementation details and possible additional components of the lock device LD, reference is for instance made to WO 2006/098690,

WO2008/101930 and WO2011/065892, which are fully incorporated herein by reference.

Reference is now again made to the processing unit 510 in the electronic lock device LDi, and more specifically how it may be configured to cause 4b generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5, to be received by the telecare alarm center TAC, as was indicated only on a schematic level at 130 in Fig 2. Possible but non-limiting embodiments in this regard will hence now be described with reference to Figs 3a to 3c. Reference numerals which are the same in any of Figs 3a to 3c as in any of the preceding drawings represent the same or functionally equivalent elements as those in the preceding drawing.

In Fig 3a, or more specifically in one embodiment thereof, the processing unit

510 of the lock device LDi may be configured to cause 4b generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5 by generating the telecare action performance confirmation 5 locally in the lock device LDi and sending it to the key device KDk for further forwarding towards the telecare alarm center TAC, as seen at 4c, via the network interface 430.

Hence, in this embodiment, the lock device itself creates the telecare action performance confirmation 5 and uses the key device as a courier or relay station to send the telecare action performance confirmation 5 to or towards the telecare alarm center TAC. In one embodiment, where the telecare system 100 also involves an access control system ACS (which will be described in more detail below with reference to Fig 6), the generated telecare action performance confirmation 5 is forwarded by the key device KDk through the access control system ACS to the telecare alarm center TAC. In another embodiment, the generated telecare action performance confirmation 5 is sent by the key device KDk to the telecare alarm center TAC through a communication channel such as a PSTN, a mobile telecommunication network or WAN, or

combinations thereof. In still an alternative embodiment, the generated telecare action performance confirmation 5 may be sent by the key device KDk to the telecare alarm center TAC through the caregiver center CGC.

In yet another embodiment, the processing unit 510 of the lock device LDi is configured to cause 4b' generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5 by instructing or allowing the key device KDk, once verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism 52 of the lock 54 of the door 50i to which the lock device LDi is mounted, to generate the telecare action performance confirmation 5 and send it to or towards the telecare alarm center TAC.

Hence, in this embodiment, the lock device itself does not create the telecare action performance confirmation 5 but commands the key device to generate the telecare action performance confirmation 5 and send it to or towards the telecare alarm center TAC - thereby in effect causing, or initiating, the generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5. In this embodiment, too, the generated telecare action performance confirmation 5 may be sent by the key device KDk through the access control system ACS of Fig 6 to the telecare alarm center TAC, or alternatively to the telecare alarm center TAC through a communication channel such as a PSTN, a mobile telecommunication network or WAN, or combinations thereof.

In still another embodiment, the processing unit 510 of the lock device LDi is configured to cause 4b generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5 by informing the key device KDk that it has been verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism 52 of the lock 54 of the door 50i to which the lock device LDi is mounted, the key device KDk reporting this to the access control system ACS, and the access control system ACS being configured to generate the telecare action performance confirmation 5 and send it to the telecare alarm center TAC.

Fig 6 illustrates, in a schematic and simplified form, the layout of an

embodiment of the access control system ACS referred to in Fig 3a, as well as the typical caregiving environment in which it is operational. A first team of caregiver personnel CGP is responsible for the care of a first group of caretakers (cf CT in the preceding description), all living in respective caretaker residences (cf CTR in the preceding description) covered by respective front doors 50i-50n. Electronic lock devices LDi-LDn are installed on the respective front doors 50i-50n and serve as gateways to the respective protected environment (i.e. the caretaker residence) behind each door. A first pool of key devices KDi-KDm is available to the first team of caregiver personnel CGP. The key devices KDi-KDm may for instance be mobile terminals. Each lock device LDi-LDn contains some sort of access control data (cf 570 in Fig 5), which may be used when assessing whether or not a particular key device is to be granted access to the caretaker residence.

When a caregiver person from the first team starts his shift, he may check out one of the key devices KDi-KDm from a caregiver center (cf CGC in the preceding description), for instance key device KDi. During his shift, he may use key device KDi to gain access to various ones of the front doors 50i-50n to provide the care and attention required by the respective caretakers (provided that his key device KDi has the authority). This access will be provided by way of wireless communication between key device and lock device, as previously described. At the end of his shift, the caregiver person may again check in and return the key device KDi to the caregiver center. In addition or alternatively, some or all members of the first team of caregiver personnel CGP may use their own mobile terminals as key devices. Not all key devices or members of the first team of caregiver personnel CGP may be authorized to access all doors, and they need not all have the same level of authorization in terms of times and/or dates when access is allowed.

As seen in Fig 6, the caregiving environment further involves a second team of caregiver personnel CGP' responsible for serving a second group of caretakers, the caretaker residences of which have respective front doors 50r-50n' to which electronic lock devices LDr-LDn' are installed. A second pool of key devices KDr-KDm' is available to the second team of caregiver personnel CGP'. Of course, the caregiving environment may in reality include additional teams of caregiver personnel, additional groups of caretakers, additional front doors, additional lock devices, and additional pools of key devices.

In addition, alternative caregiving entities may be included in the caregiving environment, in the form of a security guard service SG or an emergency service ES with key devices KDsg and KDes. Whereas the key devices KDi-KDm, KDr-KDm' of the first and second teams CGP, CGP' will be used by a relatively large number of caregiver persons to access a relatively small number of lock devices/doors at relatively frequent occasions, the situation may be the opposite for the key devices KDsg and KDes of the security guard service SG or emergency service ES. These key devices will be used by a limited number of persons (such as paramedics, nurses or guards) at rare occasions, but they nevertheless need to be able to access a very large number of lock devices/doors - or even all lock devices/doors that are included in the caregiving environment.

For enhanced security, each key device may have an access control software application in which the user must log on. Also, all communications with the lock devices may be encrypted.

Each team of caregiver personnel CGP, CGP' may be sub-divided into subgroups, for instance a day shift, an evening shift and a night shift. Also, an individual caregiver person may act in or for both teams CGP and CGP' (for instance to serve as back-up in situations of sickness, parental leave or during popular holiday periods), therefore having a need to use his key device for accessing lock devices both in the first group of caretakers and in the second group of caretakers. This is illustrated in Fig 6 for key device KDm, which will access not only lock device LDm in the first group of caretakers, but also lock device LDr in the second group of caretakers.

The purpose of the access control system ACS is to control the access to the plurality of lock devices LDi- LDn, LDr- LDn' for a plurality of users CGP, CGP', SG, ES with a plurality of key devices KDi- KDm, KDr- KDm', KDsg, KDes. To this end, the access control system includes an access control system server ACS S and an access control system database ACS DB. The key devices may communicate (via the network interface 430) with the access control system server ACS_S via the network interface 430 over a local network (WLAN/WiFi) 620 and/or a wide area network (e.g. the Internet) or cellular network 630.

The access control system database ACS DB is configured to contain cross- reference or mapping data 610 that defines the access rights of respective ones of the key devices and corresponding ones of the users to respective ones of the lock devices. Fig 6 contains an enlarged representation of the cross-reference or mapping data 610. As seen at 612 and 613, a caretaker CT is mapped to a lock device LD (or several lock devices, or vice versa). Correspondingly, as seen at 614 and 615, a caregiving person CGP is mapped to a key device KD (or several key devices, or vice versa). Likewise a security guard or emergency service person SG or ES is mapped, at 616, to a key device KD (or several key devices, or vice versa). Finally, the reference or mapping data 610 contains associations which connect allowed key devices KD with particular lock devices LD.

In embodiments where the lock devices LD comprise a local database LD DB, it may be configured to store a replicated version, or a subset thereof, of the contents of the access control system database ACS DB. The processing unit 510 of an individual lock device LDi may be configured to verify the authority of a key device KDk seeking access by determining an identity of the key device during the wireless interaction 4a and by checking the authority of the key device thus identified by cross-reference in the local database LD DB. This allows a high degree of security in the system and still allows the lock devices LD to operate as autonomous units. Loading and updating of replicated ACS DB data into the LD DB may occur over the wireless transceiver 540, and the key devices may act as couriers of this information under certain security arrangements. As already mentioned, the key device identity may, for instance, be represented by a Bluetooth® ID, a MAC address, an IP address, a WiFi address, a serial number, and combinations thereof.

As described above, the access control system ACS may be involved in the generation and/or forwarding of the generated telecare action performance confirmation 5 to the telecare alarm center TAC.

Using the access control system ACS to forward a telecare action performance confirmation 5 generated by either the lock device LDi or the key device KDk is advantageous, since it allows for addition of supplemental information to the telecare alarm center TAC. For instance, the key device KDk may only know its key device identity 615 but not the identity of the caregiving person CGPj using it. In contrast, the access control system ACS will have access to the mapping data 610 in the access control system database ACS DB and may thus determine the identity 614 of the caregiving person CGPj, and add this information to the telecare action performance confirmation 5 sent to the telecare alarm center TAC. The same holds true for the identity 613 of the lock device LDi versus the identity 612 of the caretaker CTi.

Using the access control system ACS to generate the telecare action performance confirmation 5 is advantageous, since it improves the reliability of the telecare action performance confirmation 5 from the telecare alarm center TAC's point of view.

Imagine a situation where the lock device LDi made its decision to allow the key device KDk to access the caretaker residence CTRi based on an expired replicated version (or subset thereof) of the contents of the access control system database ACS DB, and as a result granted the key device KDk access even though its access rights have

subsequently been cancelled or changed in the access control system database

ACS DB. The access control system ACS may detect this inconsistency and either refrain from sending a telecare action performance confirmation 5 to the telecare alarm center TAC or, even better, send an alert to the telecare alarm center TAC, thereby giving the latter a chance to correct the mistake by sending another caregiving person CGP or perhaps a security guard SG.

Reference is now once again made to the processing unit 510 in the electronic lock device LDi, and more specifically how it may be configured to cause generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5, to be received by the telecare alarm center TAC. Some possible but non-limiting embodiments were described with reference to Fig 3a. Further alternative will now be described with reference to Figs 3b and 3c.

In Fig 3b, the processing unit 510 of the lock device LDi is configured to cause 4b' generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5 by instructing or allowing the key device KDk, once verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism 52 of the lock 54 of the door 50i to which the lock device LDi is mounted, to generate a telecare action performance report 4c to be sent to the caregiver center CGC. The caregiver center CGC is configured, in response to receiving the telecare action performance report 4c, to generate the telecare action performance confirmation 5 and send it to the telecare alarm center TAC. In Fig 3c, the processing unit 510 of the lock device LDi is configured to cause 4b" generation of the telecare action performance confirmation 5 by generating the telecare action performance confirmation 5 locally in the lock device and sending it to the telecare terminal TTi for further forwarding to the telecare alarm center TAC over the communication channel 102. Alternatively, the processing unit 510 of the lock device LDi may instruct or allow the telecare terminal TTi to generate the telecare action performance confirmation 5 and send it to the telecare alarm center TAC.

This alternative embodiment has an advantage in that it uses a reasonably secure unit in the telecare system 100, namely the telecare terminal TTi, for the forwarding of the telecare action performance confirmation 5. Another advantage is that no special design of the key device KD is required; it suffices if it is a simple RF-ID or NFC tag, as is more likely carried by alternative caregiving entities like security guards or emergency services.

In a refinement of this alternative embodiment, the processing unit 510 of the lock device LDi is further configured to include, in or with the generated telecare action performance confirmation 5, information about a remaining charge level of the battery power unit 520 in the lock device LDi. This represents a resource-efficient way of communicating this information, which might be crucial in terms of operational reliability, to the telecare alarm center TAC through the telecare terminal TTi.

The present invention has been described with reference to a number of exemplary embodiments. However, modifications to these embodiments, as well as other embodiments, may be possible within the scope of the patent claims, as is readily realized by a skilled person. For instance, even though the telecare alarm center TAC and the caregiver center CGC have been described as separate entities in this description, they may be integrated into one structural entity in alternative embodiments. Likewise, the access control center ACS may the structurally integrated with the telecare alarm center TAC or the caregiver center CGC, or both.

Claims

1. A telecare system (100), comprising:
a telecare alarm center (TAC); and
a plurality of telecare terminals (TT) for use by respective caretakers (CT) at their respective caretaker residences (CTR), each telecare terminal (TTi) being configured for transmitting a telecare alarm (1) to the telecare alarm center upon occurrence of an alarm event at the caretaker residence (CTRi),
wherein the telecare alarm center is configured, as a result of receiving the telecare alarm from the telecare terminal, to transmit a telecare action request (2) to a caregiving entity (CGC; SG; ES), and
wherein the telecare alarm center is configured for monitoring the receipt of a telecare action performance confirmation (5) indicating that a caregiving person (CGPj; SG; ES) has appeared at the caretaker residence for the purpose of attending to the alarm event,
the telecare system being characterized by:
for each of the caretaker residences (CTR), an electronic lock device (LDi) for mounting to a door (50i) of the caretaker residence (CTRi), wherein the electronic lock device comprises:
a transceiver (540) capable of wireless interaction (4a) with a key device (KDk); an electrically controlled lock actuator (512) configured for actuation of a lock mechanism (52) of a lock (54) of the door; and
a processing unit (510) coupled to the transceiver and configured to cause the lock actuator to actuate the lock mechanism of the lock in response to wireless interaction with the key device,
wherein the processing unit is further configured to cause (4b; 4b'; 4b") generation of the telecare action performance confirmation (5).
2. The telecare system (100) as defined in claim 1, wherein the processing unit (510) of the lock device (LDi) is configured to cause (4b; 4b'; 4b") generation of the telecare action performance confirmation (5) only once the key device (KDk) has been verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism (52) of the lock (54) of the door (50i) to which the lock device is mounted.
3. The telecare system (100) as defined in claim 2, wherein the processing unit (510) of the lock device (LDi) is configured to verify the authority of the key device (KDk) by analyzing the compliance of access control data (470, 470', 470") received from the key device during the wireless interaction (4a), with respect to access control data (570, LD DB) stored in the lock device (LDi).
4. The telecare system (100) as defined in any preceding claim, the telecare system (100) further comprising an access control system (ACS) for the purpose of controlling the access to the plurality of lock devices (LDi- LDn, LDi - LDn ) for a plurality of users (CGP, CGP', SG, ES) with a plurality of key devices (KDi- KDm,
KDr- KDm', KDSg, KDes), wherein the access control system includes an access control system server (ACS S) and an access control system database (ACS DB), the access control system database being configured to contain cross-reference data (610) that defines the access rights of respective ones of the key devices and corresponding ones of the users to respective ones of the lock devices.
5. The telecare system (100) as defined in claims 3 and 4,
wherein each lock device (LDi) comprises a local database (LD DB) configured to store a replicated version, or a subset thereof, of the contents of the access control system database (ACS DB), and
wherein the processing unit (510) of the lock device (LDi) is configured to verify the authority of the key device (KDk) by determining an identity of the key device during the wireless interaction (4a) and by checking the authority of the key device thus identified by cross-reference in the local database (LD DB).
6. The telecare system (100) as defined in any of claims 2 to 5, wherein the processing unit (510) of the lock device (LDi) is configured to cause (4b) generation of the telecare action performance confirmation (5) by generating the telecare action performance confirmation (5) locally in the lock device and sending it to the key device (KDk) for further forwarding towards the telecare alarm center (TAC).
7. The telecare system (100) as defined claim 6 when depending on claim 4 or 5, wherein the generated telecare action performance confirmation (5) is forwarded by the key device (KDk) through the access control system (ACS) to the telecare alarm center (TAC).
8. The telecare system (100) as defined in any of claims 2 to 5, wherein the processing unit (510) of the lock device (LDi) is configured to cause (4b") generation of the telecare action performance confirmation (5) by generating the telecare action performance confirmation (5) locally in the lock device and sending it to the telecare terminal (TTi) for further forwarding to the telecare alarm center (TAC).
9. The telecare system (100) as defined in any of claims 6 to 8, the lock device (LDi) further comprising a local battery power unit (520) as a power source for powering the lock device, wherein the processing unit (510) of the lock device (LDi) is further configured to include, in or with the generated telecare action performance confirmation (5), information about a remaining charge level of the battery power unit.
10. The telecare system (100) as defined in any of claims 2 to 5, wherein the processing unit (510) of the lock device (LDi) is configured to cause (4b') generation of the telecare action performance confirmation (5) by instructing or allowing the key device (KDk), once verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism (52) of the lock (54) of the door (50i) to which the lock device (LDi) is mounted, to generate the telecare action performance confirmation (5) and send it to or towards the telecare alarm center (TAC).
11. The telecare system (100) as defined in any of claims 2 to 5,
wherein the caregiving entity to which the telecare action request (2) is transmitted is a caregiver center (CGC),
wherein the processing unit (510) of the lock device (LDi) is configured to cause (4b') generation of the telecare action performance confirmation (5) by instructing or allowing the key device (KDk), once verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism (52) of the lock (54) of the door (50i) to which the lock device (LDi) is mounted, to generate a telecare action performance report (4c) to be sent to the caregiver center (CGC), and
wherein the caregiver center is configured, in response to receiving the telecare action performance report (4c), to generate the telecare action performance confirmation (5) and send it to the telecare alarm center (TAC).
12. The telecare system (100) as defined in claim 4 or 5, wherein the processing unit (510) of the lock device (LDi) is configured to cause (4b) generation of the telecare action performance confirmation (5) by informing the key device (KDk) that it has been verified as having the authority to actuate the lock mechanism (52) of the lock (54) of the door (50i) to which the lock device (LDi) is mounted, the key device (KDk) reporting this to the access control system (ACS), and the access control system (ACS) being configured to generate the telecare action performance confirmation (5) and send it to the telecare alarm center (TAC).
13. The telecare system (100) as defined in any preceding claim, wherein the caregiving entity includes one or more of:
a caregiver center (CGC);
a security guard service (SG); and
an emergency service (ES).
14. The telecare system (100) as defined in any preceding claim, wherein the occurrence of an alarm event at the caretaker residence (CTRi) includes one or more of the following:
manual actuation by the caretaker (CTi) of an alarm function of the telecare terminal (TTi);
automatic detection by a sensor device of an abnormal condition for the caretaker;
automatic detection by a sensor device of an abnormal condition for the caretaker residence.
15. A method of monitoring attendance to a telecare alarm event in a telecare system (100), the method involving, at a telecare alarm center (TAC):
receiving (710) a telecare alarm (1) from a telecare terminal (TTi) located at a caretaker residence (CTRi);
transmitting (720) a telecare action request (2) to a caregiving entity (CGC; SG; ES) so as to initiate a telecare action involving attending to an alarm event at the caretaker residence (CTRi); and
monitoring (730) for receipt of a telecare action performance confirmation (5) indicating that a caregiving person (CGPj; SG; ES) has appeared at the caretaker residence for the purpose of attending to the alarm event, wherein generation of the telecare action performance confirmation has been caused (4b; 4b'; 4b") by an electronic lock device (LDi) being mounted to a door (50i) of the caretaker residence and being configured for actuation of a lock mechanism (52) of a lock (54) of the door in response to wireless interaction (4a) with a key device (KDi).
16. An electronic lock device (LDi) for mounting to a door (50i) of a caretaker residence (CTRi) and for use in a telecare system (100) which has a telecare alarm center (TAC) and a plurality of telecare terminals (TT) for use by respective caretakers (CT) at their respective caretaker residences (CTR), each telecare terminal (TTi) being configured for transmitting a telecare alarm (1) to the telecare alarm center upon occurrence of an alarm event at the caretaker residence (CTRi), wherein the telecare alarm center is configured, as a result of receiving the telecare alarm from the telecare terminal, to transmit a telecare action request (2) to a caregiving entity (CGC; SG; ES), and wherein the telecare alarm center is configured for monitoring the receipt of a telecare action performance confirmation (5) indicating that a caregiving person (CGPj; SG; ES) has appeared at the caretaker residence for the purpose of attending to the alarm event,
the electronic lock device being characterized by:
a transceiver (540) capable of wireless interaction (4a) with a key device (KDk); an electrically controlled lock actuator (512) configured for actuation of a lock mechanism (52) of a lock (54) of the door; and
a processing unit (510) coupled to the transceiver and configured to cause the lock actuator to actuate the lock mechanism of the lock in response to wireless interaction with the key device,
wherein the processing unit is further configured to cause (4b; 4b'; 4b") generation of the telecare action performance confirmation (5).
PCT/SE2014/051089 2013-09-25 2014-09-23 A telecare system and an electronic lock device for use therein, and an associated method for monitoring attendance to a telecare alarm event in a telecare system WO2015047166A1 (en)

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PCT/SE2014/051089 WO2015047166A1 (en) 2013-09-25 2014-09-23 A telecare system and an electronic lock device for use therein, and an associated method for monitoring attendance to a telecare alarm event in a telecare system

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