TFM: Design and implementation of a hospital automation and signaling system

The work has been carried out within the R&D area of ACE Business Group. The project has been started from scratch, being the only development engineer involved.

In hospitals and nursing homes there is a need to use a healthcare system that allows an effective communication between the patient and the nurses and also with visiting doctors and same day doctors, in addition to monitoring possible events that allow immediate actions in order to save the patient’s life at the right time. At emergency cases, they can also use a reliable user management software to effectively manage the user life cycle.

The project proposes the design of a complete solution that allows integrating a low-cost peripherals network in a modular and user-configurable way. The design focuses on a centralized architecture with a gateway capable of automating the behavior of sensors and actuators in its environment, with a wired or wireless connection. In addition to automation, the user receives notifications of each of the events, allowing real-time monitoring of the rooms.

During the project, two electronic systems, a central node, and an assistance push-button mechanism have been designed, with the aim of integrating a generic assistance call system and a scalable communications protocol to a future more complex sensors and actuators network. The development deals with both the hardware and the software necessary for its implementation, as well as a set of tests to validate its operation for future commercialization.

The gateway acts as a hub for nodes within the rooms, with BLE, Wifi, Ethernet, RS485 interfaces and GPIO ports. The design is done in a modular and scalable way over FreeRTOS Operating System.

The push button is designed with 3 different configurations on the same PCB: wired, wireless, or by direct digital I/O. It is oriented to an ultra low consumption design with the ability to last for several years over BLE.