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IoT devices: Development and deployment in healthcare facilities of Japan’s first remote monitoring system for vital data using wristband-type wearable devices

  • Selected for a 2016-17 project run by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)
  • Japan’s first vital data gathering system to use a multi-gateway technique*

Feb 22, 2018

TDK Corporation (TSE 6762, President and CEO: Shigenao Ishiguro, hereinafter “TDK”) and National university corporation OITA UNIVERSITY (President: Seigo Kitano) were selected to participate in the “Development of Medical Devices and Systems for Advanced Medical Services” a 2016-17 academic year R&D project promoted by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) aimed at developing Development of Medical Devices / Systems for Advanced Medical Services. TDK and Oita University collaborated in the development of a remote monitoring system designed for detecting and monitoring wandering patients. In addition to positioning data, the system enables vital data such as heart rate, skin temperature, amount of physical activity, amount of exposure to UV light and amount of conversation to be ascertained in real-time via a wristband-type wearable biosensor device (the TDK-produced Silmee™ W20) worn by the patient.

The remote monitoring system has been introduced at Oita University Hospital, where it is currently being used in demonstrative tests collecting data from patient wristbands via TDK Silmee™ L10 gateway devices (3G celluler line) installed in both indoor and outdoor locations around the hospital.

Via these gateway devices, the system realizes to display patient location data, amount of conversation, and other vital data (e.g. heart rate, skin temperature, physical activity/exertion, UV light exposure) gathered from the wristbands of consenting patients on the screens of PC terminals set in the University Hospital. It also enables past data to be displayed. In this way, the system enables remote monitoring of dementia patients wearing the wristbands, and also enables alarming to be given to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals when a patient entering into a hazardous area of the hospital, and/or anormaly detection happens.

It is hoped that in the future this system will be applied not only in preventing wandering patients(senile dementia etc.), but also in supporting patients with various other kinds of diseases.

The system represents the first trial in Japan, as a vital data collecting system utilizing multi-gateway technology enabling almost real-time collecting data from multiple devices through connecting multiple gateways capable to send data directly to a cloud-based data center.

*As of February 2018, according to research conducted by TDK.

Remote Monitoring System Outline

Silmee™ L10 gateway devices installed inside and outside the hospital forwards patient data measured by Silmee™ W20 wristband-type wearable devices to a cloud-based data base in almost real-time. Patient data including location data, heart rate, number of steps walked, physical activity/exertion, sleep, amount of conversation and amount of exposure to UV light are then visualized using a cloud-based application.
In the multi-gateway technique developed by TDK, data from wearable devices is forwarded to the cloud-based data base via the nearest gateway. An advantageous feature of the system is allowing to adjust number of wearable devices and gateways to match the number of device wearers, and to adjust the signal conditions due to building structure by number of gateways installation.

In October 2017, TDK made a business partnership agreement with Tokai Corporation (based in Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture); a company engaged in a range of business operations relating to hospital and nursing care facilities and rental provision of welfare equipment. The partnership agreement was signed as a step to achieve the practical commercialization of a 24-hour remote vital data monitoring system in the market of the medical treatment and caregiving sectors.

Moving forward, TDK will continue to enhance and expand the scope of its solutions , offering a variety of business solutions by utilizing IoT devices, including its Silmee™ product range and other telecommunications devices.

About TDK Corporation

TDK Corporation is a leading electronics company based in Tokyo, Japan. It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK's portfolio includes passive components, such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, ferrites and inductors, high-frequency products, and piezo and protection components, as well as sensors and sensor systems and power supplies. These products are marketed under the product brands TDK, EPCOS, InvenSense, Micronas, Tronics and TDK-Lambda. TDK's further main product groups include magnetic application products, energy devices, and flash memory application devices. TDK focuses on demanding markets in the areas of information and communication technology and automotive, industrial and consumer electronics. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2017, TDK posted total sales of USD 10.5 billion and employed about 100,000 people worldwide.

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