Situational awareness through IoT sensors : A smart healthcare system as a use case
Ali, Zaheer (2019)
Sähkötekniikan DI-ohjelma - Degree Programme in Electrical Engineering
Informaatioteknologian ja viestinnän tiedekunta - Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences
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Emerging technologies of the Internet of Things are getting increasingly significant and to some extent essential as well to the society we are living in. These technologies have shown ability over the time to be implemented in a number of different fields, for instance, Smart Home, Smart Building, Smart City, Smart Retail, Smart Supply Chain, Smart Farming, Smart Grid, Industrial Internet and many more. Incorporation of Internet of Things technologies in the healthcare sector has potential to benefit not only medical related enterprises but at the same time it can improve the overall health and well-being of individuals as well. The deployment of IoT integrated systems has to deal with fairly heterogeneous environments that consist of a large number of sensors and actuators which all can be quite different from one another in many aspects. For example, they can use different operating systems and can have different hardware architecture. Such sensors are sometimes used for situational awareness of the surrounding and for making the individuals interact better with their environment. Such variety of applications and tasks poses a problem for system designers and developers on the choice of the most suitable technology to be employed to accomplish a specific task. This thesis explores the potential of Internet of Things technologies in the medical sector. We used analytical hierarchical process to have a kind of situational awareness through IoT technologies. As an use case, a healthcare system was considered for elderly people with neurological problems who need special care – people suffering with dementia for example. At the same time we have taken into account for the proposed system that it would enable regular people track and monitor their usual activities with a focus on improving the quality of life and enhancing their overall wellbeing. It is of prime importance for the system designers and developers that they have an idea about the potential IoT technologies and applications that can help this cause. We have considered eleven different IoT technologies to select from for the proposed paradigm. The decision of selecting the most appropriate technology obviously depends upon different criteria. Every IoT technology has its pros and cons. According to the needs of the proposed healthcare system, we have constructed a multi-criteria hierarchical model to assess the potential of those eleven IoT technologies for the healthcare system and chosen the best one based on set criteria and sub criteria. A 4-tier Analytical Hierarchical model is used to compare those technologies in terms of their quality of service or effectiveness, their acceptability and from the cost perspective. These criteria are then further divided into sub-criteria and the technologies are compared with respect to these ten sub-criteria to have a more thorough and comprehensive analysis. For these comparisons, quantitative data were collected from the internet including IEEE articles, and some of the comparisons are purely subjective. The results indicate that wide-area low-power solutions show more potential for the proposed healthcare system than other IoT technologies which we used for comparison, and SigFox tops the table. Also WiFi solutions have shown significant potential. But again, every technology has its shortcomings as well. Further studies are needed to see if we can somehow make a hybrid healthcare system that utilizes multiple IoT technologies and incorporate the plus points of all of them into the system; such future system can prove to be revolutionary in the medical care.