At-risk patients are vulnerable to sudden abnormality in body condition that can prove to be fatal. They would be unable to activate any gadget or call for help if they lose control over limb movement. Unattended seniors and at-risk patients suffer a greater chance of exposure to such circumstances. With the objective of patient welfare in mind, futurecity Inc. in collaboration with University and Hospital partners in a networked organization, embarked on a PMRRS (Patient Monitoring, Rescue, and Response System) research and development initiative. The core of PMRRS is a human identification, and medical database linked to a biosensor driven radio/satellite based tracking system that can uniquely identify and rescue patients globally and respond to provide help in case of an emergency.

The immediately available PMRRS device helps in identifying and tracking the wandering patients within a hospital and dispatching teams to rescue them. The immediate next development focus is a cost-effective bio-sensing system to monitor critical body conditions and generate alert triggers that can be transmitted to a monitoring station in case of an abnormality. This capability would be packed in a patient-wearable small device. The monitoring station can dispatch ambulance and give vital life-saving information about the patient to paramedics and healthcare providers.

PMRRS is one of the healthcare applications that is build on the core UIN technology. UIN (Universal Identification Number) is a breakthrough in identification technologies, and shall provide a human identification and tracking system across the globe. The major UIN applications are in preventing crimes like identity theft, insurance fraud, child abduction, fraudulent credit card transactions. futurecity Inc. is also currently engaged in developing applications for homeland security and defense with UIN technology with aim of eliminating terrorism globally.

How it works

A patient wearable RFID tag is issued to all at-risk patients at hospital check-in, and those living in retirement communities. The RFID readers embedded at strategic points can scan the patients in its range vicinity and generate exception reports for any missing patients, or trigger alerts for patients suffering from abnormal conditions. The area in immediate vicinity of hospital can be monitored by placing RFID readers at suitable points to help track patient movements and rescue them, when required. RFID is a cost-effective solution and suitable even for harsh environments, like extreme temperature exposure (-40 to +150 degrees Celsius.) RFID tags and readers have no moving parts, thus maintenance is rarely required. Since RFID is extremely difficult to copy, it is also suitable for confidential identification of patients. The tag and reader communicate in virtually milliseconds, thus RFID is fast. By implementation of a suitable communication protocol in the software, all data related to the patient and the abnormal body condition that triggered the alert can be read in a matter of the fraction of a second.

Most existing systems providing similar help require the patient to activate a communication channel and are confined to operate within the home. With PMRRS, no human intervention would be required to monitor body conditions and generate alerts. The automatically received signal shall be immediately processed and rescue teams dispatched, as needed. This system can, in particular, benefit the patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, infirm seniors and all at-risk cases. During the initial phase, PMRRS global database has been developed. A PMRRS low-cost RFID device has been integrated in the first phase to provide tracking over limited distance, like within a hospital, nursing home, assisted care living or community facility.

Emergency Services Provided

Patient Monitoring, Rescue, and Response System developed by Patient Welfare Division of futurecity Inc. provides the following emergency services:

1. The PMRRS device in its current version helps monitor the location of an at-risk patient, and alerts the nursing staff when at-risk patient wanders to out-of-bound areas, or escapes from the safety zone. In the future versions under development, bio-sensing capability is being incorporated into the device. This will enable automatic sensing of abnormal body conditions, and generate alerts without any human intervention or activation.

2. Emergency rescue teams, like Land, Air, or Sea Ambulance, Paramedics, are immediately dispatched to rescue the patient and provide immediate, on-site medical assistance.

3. Vital life-saving medical data pertaining to the patient is immediately made available to the rescue and response teams, and authorized medical practitioners attending to the patient.

4. While the patient is being rescued, and in transition, the Head Quarter operator identifies the most suitable medical facility for providing immediate relief in consultation with rescue team, and releases the required life-saving medical data about the patient to them, and coordinates advance preparedness. This helps to save precious time and provide the required medical care as soon as the patient arrives.

5. As rescue and treatment is conducted, relevant data related to treatment is gathered and input in the medical information system for future reference.

6. Future versions of PMRRS device will enable automatic sensing of abnormal body conditions and automatic alert, irrespective of location of the patient, and dispatch of search and rescue teams.

PMRRS further development is focused on providing freedom and mobility to patients, by allowing them to explore the world, while taking care of an emergency medical or accident condition. Provision will exist in the system to allow patient to get help at the press of a button in case of an accident like fire, car crash, or seek rescue for a condition or situation that is not automatically detected to raise an alert.