Three years ago, I wrote often about The World of Always-On. This consisted of wireless applications which lived in the air, sensors and motes that could collect data from your home, your yard, your stuff, even your body and evaluate it using your WiFi connection.
It didn’t happen. I guess I didn’t shout loud enough. (Yes, I know. This is actually the cover art to a Blink182 song.)
Or did it?
Jude Jake Ludington has been to Demo in China and comes back with a report on an outfit called Beijing Perfect Sky Information Technology Co. Ltd.
Here is how he described it:
The system monitors health data for cardiogram readings, pulse, blood
pressure, body temperature and a number of other factors to track
changes in vital signs. Data is sent wirelessly to a server that tracks
patient information to check for any changes that represent an
out-of-normal condition. In the event of a dramatic change in health
status, the service will alert physicians, family and anyone else
scheduled to be notified in an emergency.
Bingo! This is an Always-On medical application, which I called a "killer app." The patient wears sensors which take regular readings. The WiFi network sends these to a computer for analysis. When an alarm condition exists, a text message can be sent to a designated person, or a list of persons.
This is the kind of thing that can keep you in your home, instead of
putting you in nursing care when your time comes. Embed the sensors in
something like an UnderArmour
shirt (grandpa wants to style), run the data through an ordinary WiFi
router, use cellular text messaging for the alerts. Now you’re aging in
place instead of in some strange place.
You can put together different
sensor sets depending on the condition which needs monitoring. (And just imagine the new market for UnderArmour!)
The fact that this innovation is happening in China, and is not
happening here, disturbs me. But not as much as not seeing it at all
would have disturbed me.
Dana don’t want to go to no nursing home.