Intel Edison IoT Hackathon - Jane, an Elderly Care Assistant

Introduction: Intel Edison IoT Hackathon - Jane, an Elderly Care Assistant

Thanks to the folks at Intel, I got a chance to build a fun project at the Intel Edison IoT Hackathon in Boston. The project is a prototype of Jane, an IoT Elderly care assistant that helps patients on assisted home living care. The target audience is patients on assisted home living care and nurses or other caregivers monitoring the health of such patients.

Jane is a Edison based IoT device that retrieves healthcare reminders and alerts for the patient from a internet server reminders the patient of his or her upcoming task and waits until the patient acknowledges that the task is complete. When the patient acknowledges that the task is complete, Jane notifies the server which monitors the status of each task in the patients schedule and notifies the caregiver if the patient has not acknowledged the completion of tasks critical to the patients well being.

This system helps caregivers monitor patients daily health activities and proactively intervene when critical tasks are not acknowledged.

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Step 1: Hardware

The Intel Edison with the Arduino breakout board is used for the IoT device. The Edison has can drive LEDs, has digital GPIO ports for switches and an analogue port that can drive a speaker. For the prototype and hackathon, a red light LED and a switch from the Grove starter kit was used. The Grove starter kit comes with many sensors essential for any project.

The Edison also comes with wifi on the chip and does not require any additional shields to connect to the internet. The addition of wifi on the chip makes the Edison great for IoT projects! The fully assembled kit with the prototyping base shield and LED and switch assembled on the Arduino breakout board is shown in the picture. The prototyping base shield can run on 3.3 or 5V. For this project 3.3V is sufficient and the shield voltage selector switch must be set to 3.3V.

Step 2: Software

Edison IoT device

The Edison runs a program that polls the task service periodically and updates the list of tasks it is monitoring on the device with and new tasks that are scheduled by the caregiver. When new tasks arrive the red light blinks indicating that there are pending tasks to be completed. As the patient, completes tasks and presses the switch to indicate task completion, if no more tasks are remaining, the LED light is turned off. The device posts tasks updates to the task server as the task moves through its lifecycle of new, scheduled and completed states. The device program is written in javascript and runs on Node.js on the device.

Task Service

The task service has a server component to manage tasks and their lifecycle and a UI that provides a task board that monitors all tasks and their states. The ui also provides a way for the caregiver to add new tasks.

The task server is written in Clojure and provides a task management REST API.

The task service UI is written in Clojurescript and uses React from Facebook to provide a highly responsive page that allows the caregiver to monitor the tasks and progress of multiple patients.

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