AT&T, Permobil expand IoT concepts with connected wheelchair
Telecommunications giant AT&T and health IT company Permobil have developed a proof of concept solution that wirelessly connects wheelchairs to increase the independence and freedom of a user with disabilities.
As recently reported by our sister brand Business Review America Latina, “the chair has wireless IoT (Internet of Things) by AT&T for monitoring comfort, performance, maintenance requirements and location.”
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The solution, which is being developed and tested at the AT&T Foundry for IoT innovation, allows users to access data that impacts their everyday lives and can be remotely accessed in the secure cloud. Information can then be shared with caregivers, fleet technicians and clinicians.
“The connected wheelchair is a great example of how the AT&T Foundry can quickly collaborate with a customer on a proof of concept to bring connectivity and intelligence to a new range of devices,” said Mike Troiano, Vice President AT&T Industrial IoT Solutions in an issued release. “We’re using innovative technology to solve real-world problems and, in this case, potentially improve quality of life.”
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Three aspects of the wheelchair the solution monitors include:
Seating position and cushion pressure: Users will know if their seat cushion pressure is out of range which can lead to life-threatening pressure ulcers. The solution complements Permobil’s Virtual Seating Coach, an app and cloud service that presents seating system information and tracks if users are following recommended seat function regimens.
Battery level and predictive maintenance requirements: Manufacturers/dealers will know when a chair needs to be serviced by remotely accessing error codes. This enables single-trip service visits.
GPS location and fleet management: Manufacturers/dealers can quickly and efficiently schedule demos and appointments. Caregivers gain greater peace of mind.
The connected wheelchair uses AT&T IoT technology that includes a Global SIM, AT&T Control Center and developer solutions like M2X and AT&T Flow Designer.
For over 45 years, Permobil has led the complex rehabilitation power wheelchairs industry. The connected wheelchair shows how Permobil strives to develop products that strengthen their users' ability to control and interact with their surroundings.
“Our ‘Guiding Star,’ when developing any product, comes directly from company founder, Dr. Per Udden, who has stated that every person with a disability has the right to have his or her handicap compensated as far as possible by aids with the same technical standard as those we all use in our everyday lives,” said Olof Hedin, Permobil Chief Information Officer. “Permobil’s collaboration with the AT&T Foundry is the epitome of how to bring today’s technology into the complex rehabilitation arena to benefit users, clinicians and stakeholders.”
The two companies said they plan to continue to enhance the connected wheelchair concept and add services like access to home controls and remote monitoring to increase user independence and freedom.
NeuTigers: edge AI in healthcare
What is edge AI?
Edge AI is essentially a combination of edge computing and artificial intelligence. Algorithms are processed locally - directly on a mobile device or server - rather than in the cloud. This reduces cost, computing power and energy requirements. There are also claims that edge AI is so fast it is possible to reach near real-time analytics.
Edge AI devices include smart speakers, smart phones, laptops, robots, self-driven cars, drones, and surveillance cameras that use video analytics.
Who is NeuTigers?
NeuTigers is a spin-off company from Princeton University, formed in 2018 to apply edge AI and machine learning to solve challenges in healthcare, energy, productivity, and security.
With offices in Princeton, NJ, the company is based at one of the top AI accelerator programs of FutureLabs in New York, and has also established a subsidiary in Nice, France.
How is NeuTigers applying edge AI to healthcare?
The NeuTigers AI Technology Stack uses deep neural networks that mimic how the human brain perceives and interprets the world. The company has developed the StarDeepTM Smart Health Platform for health monitoring and biomedical imaging, to improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosing diseases.
NeuTigers say the platform has the potential to monitor and screen for thousands of conditions, when used in combination with medical devices and smart sensors already deployed in healthcare settings.
Are there any real world examples?
In January NeuTigers launched CovidDeep, a tool that predicts COVID-19 with more than 90% accuracy, using physiological data from a wristband along with blood pressure and blood oxygen readings. It then analyses the data and gives a prediction within two minutes.
This week NeuTigers announced a new study to detect the early signs of complications with sickle cell anaemia. Conducted at a hospital in Paris, the research will begin by looking at changes to skin response, heart beat, sleep and temperature to predict an acute episode of sickle cell anaemia, and how this impacts on the patients’ disease conditions and quality of life.
The second phase of the project is to expand with prospective studies across different sites in EU, Africa and the US to explore the models' accuracy and clinical effectiveness.
Adel Laoui, CEO and founder of NeuTigers, says: “The best way to deal with a crisis is to avoid it happening in the first place. We are now entering a new era where medical early warning systems have become a reality.
“We are excited at the possibility of deploying a technology that can save lives of patients dealing with sickle cell anaemia. The potential of the StarDeep platform to dramatically improve patient outcomes while slashing some of the highest costs of healthcare makes it one of the most exciting developments in preventative personal medicine.”