The Life Bracelet

Introduction

Bracelet

This open project was born to help save lives of people who find themselves in situations similar to those which cost the life of the Brother of this institute's founder. We are looking for funding and volunteers to develop a device to actively monitor the life parameters of a person and report them back in real time to a central system close by. These bracelets should be linked by radio waves and issue immediate alarms in case of an emergency and help reduce the response time of emergency teams.
The idea is to create a central appliance device, networked, programmed to monitor a set of bracelets, each attached to a person being monitored. Those bracelets would monitor vital signs and report them back to the central appliance.

Please support this project. Even a single Euro or Dollar makes a difference. You can help make the difference and save lives. If you'd prefer a more reciprocating form of supporting this project, you can do so by buying a copy of our book. Check our donations page for alternative ways to contribute, like wire transfer.

Usage

Taking the example of a gym, the user would need to have a profile registed on the central system - the appliance. Whenever he would begin the training session, he would be handed a bracelet associated to his profile and, as soon as the bracelet was on, it would be automatically enabled after undergoing self testing and calibration. When leaving the gym, the bracelet would be returned at the reception after closing that session. If anything happens during the time the user has the bracelet on, alarms would go off on the appliance and on the user's bracelet.
But this is not the only scenery. It could also be used in hospitals to track patients while allowing them a greater degree of freedom. It could be used for kids in shopping centers, schools or amusement parks to, besides keeping an eye on their life signs, help prevent kidnappings and to help finding lost children.
It also has an immense potential for expansion, to include more advanced functionality for situations requiring specific functions. For example, a bluetooth version for pairing with the cellphone as well as a stand-alone GSM version with GPS are planned for people with specific risk factors, so they can lead a somewhat normal life and be allowed some freedom to go about their lives while still being monitored.

Requirements

This is a preliminary list of requirements the Life Bracelet must respect:
  1. Must be lightweight and durable;
  2. Must be waterproof for in-pool usage;
  3. Must be constantly linked to the central appliance;
  4. Must provide visual and auditory signals when an event is detected to facilitate detection by a search party or bystanders - using high intensity strobe lights and an alarm pitch;
  5. Must warn the user immediately should the battery charge drop near the minimal required power threshold for 60 minutes of constant emergency signaling;
  6. Must hold enough charge for at least 6 hours of continued use;
  7. The appliance must also be aware of the battery status so it can warn site personnel about the need to replace the bracelet;
  8. Must have set of buttons to manually trigger emergency status - maybe a set of opposed buttons to be squeezed, to prevent accidental triggering;
  9. Must register pulse;
  10. Must include an RFID tag for checkpoint monitoring;
  11. Must issue alarm if removed inappropriately;
  12. Central appliance must issue alarm if it detects a removal or if connection to any bracelet is lost;

Recommendations

This is a preliminary list of recommendations the Life Bracelet should apply:
  1. Battery should be rechargeable by electromagnetic induction - like your common electric tooth brush;
  2. Should provide visual information about current time, device and link status and remaining battery;
  3. Should flash a yellow visual sign and sound a specific pitch in case of battery charge below threshold for immediate replacement;
  4. Could allow position triangulation by radio signal analysis;
  5. Should allow the appliance to record medical data to be analyzed by the doctor or, eventually, the appliance itself could process the recorded life signs in an attempt to predict potential problems;
  6. Display could be based on e-Ink to help save power and make it easily readable;
  7. Extra button could provide temporary back lighting to the display for dark environments;
  8. Should register O2 saturation;
  9. Should detect if it's being used underwater;
  10. Should have an accelerometer to detect movement (or the lack thereof);

Challenges

The following challenges will have to be dealt with:
  1. Underwater usage will imply that the bracelet must be developed in such a way for the water not to interfere with measurements;
  2. Underwater usage will also be a challenge on radio waves but since this system is for short range usage, the addition of small signal repeaters/access points may solve the problem;
  3. The appliance cannot be a single point of failure, therefore some redundancy must be applied;

Privacy concerns

The primary privacy concern displayed by people is that this device could be used to track the user's movements. Although this is true, the primary purpose of this device is not to be worn constantly in your normal everyday life, nor to be a long range tracking system. It is supposed to be used in short range, within predetermined areas like, for instance, sports facilities and amusement parks.
The medical data will be kept secure and institutions using this system should be obligated to sign agreements that prevent them from disclosing the data without explicit consent of the user.

Reaching the market

These products must reach the market somehow. There are two alternatives:
  1. Creating a commercial spin-off to distribute the product, converting the profit into research investment to support further development of the product and other projects at the Onda Technology Institute, making sure any surplus value at the end of the year is put to good use by applying them to other public projects or donating to other non-profit institutions;
  2. Licensing the technology to another institution, already on the market, with the resources to quickly deploy the product, which would result in royalties to be applied the same way as the previous option;

Budget predictions for this project (in Euros):

ElementUnit valueUnits estimateSubtotal
Prototype appliances, TPC150023000
Prototype access points, TPC50052500
Access points manufacturing proof, TBC300103000
Prototype bracelet, TPC50021000
Bracelet manufacturing proof, TBC300103000
Outsourcing services, MHAC701500105000
Misc consumables--2000
Research and Development, MHAC-16000-
Total119500

TBC: Total Build Cost.
TPC: Total Part Cost, ie, total cost of the parts, excluding development man hours.
MHAC: Man-Hours Average Cost.

Final product manufacturing cost projections (in Euros):

ElementBatch unit costBatch size
Central appliance90050
Each repeater / access point50100
Each bracelet25200

The trigger

Miguel, the Brother of this institute's founder, was a very bright, strong and active young man who suffered a traggic fate in the most unexpected of situations. He had a perfect health and was an amazing person. He didn't smoke, drink or do drugs. His riskier behaviours were driving on Portuguese roads and surfing. The cause of death is still unknown to the family, as the official report hasn't yet been released. He was found lying on the bottom of the pool where he trained every Wednesday morning. The pool had been left unguarded at the time of the event, and much has been speculated. A device like this could have saved his life.