Independa Adds Wireless Sensors to Remote-Monitoring Platform for Seniors

Independa has unveiled its Artemis system of sensors to allow for remote monitoring of seniors' vital data in the cloud.

Independa, a provider of remote-monitoring technology for the elderly, has introduced Artemis, a system of sensors that connect wirelessly to a cloud platform to monitor elderly patients' health and activities.

The company's goal is for wireless technology to allow seniors to live as independently as possible in their homes or in assisted living.

Independa demonstrated the new platform at the 2011 mHealth Summit from Dec. 5-7 in National Harbor, Md. The company will beta-test Artemis in February and launch it commercially in the second quarter of 2012.

The platform will connect sensors to monitor vital signs, safety and home conditions and transmit them to Independa's Caregiver Web App cloud platform. The Caregiver Web app converts the raw data into information that caregivers and doctors can evaluate to improve care.

Artemis, named after a Greek goddess of protection, allows caregivers to keep track of a patient's living environment as well as vital health data, according to Independa CEO Kian Saneii. "It can grow with a person's needs over time," Saneii told eWEEK.

Caregivers can program Artemis' sensors to monitor temperature, blood pressure, weight, pulse and blood sugar. Sensors can also keep track of activities such as pill dispensing and toilet flushing and environmental data such as room temperature and carbon monoxide levels.

Doctors or caregivers set the "threshold" for the level at which they'd want to be alerted, such as a particular room temperature or blood pressure level.

The platform can notify doctors about only the data they specify rather than all readings that Artemis records, according to Saneii. "We notify you when something isn't quite right, not of all the data that's happened," he explained.

Independa also offers an Angela touch-screen social-engagement platform that provides handheld entertainment for patients to reduce social isolation at home. Through Angela, seniors can access photo albums, games and puzzles as well as chat with friends using Facebook.

In addition, patients and caregivers can view health metrics reporting from Artemis sensors and the Caregiver Web app.

Artemis integrates with a wireless hub from Boston Life Labs, which develops plug-and-play wireless telehealth products. The sensors transmit data to the hub using Bluetooth and RF technology, and then transfer data to the cloud application using a cellular or WiFi connection, Saneii explained.

The platform was designed to provide access to "all kinds of sensors," he said. The platform will provide flexibility and scalability over time, Saneii added.

"It's critical to know if Mom didn't get out of bed, left the front door open for two hours or forgot to lower the thermostat," Saneii said.

A glucometer may have a cellular chip, or a scale could have built-in WiFi, Saneii noted, and these devices would use Artemis to transfer data to the Independa cloud platform.

Storing the data in the cloud allows for easier integration with other data platforms than if the data traveled from server to server, Saneii noted.

"The cloud is a repository and the brain behind getting things done," he said.

Remote health monitoring is a growing trend in health care that allows caregivers to monitor patients from their home or areas where they can't physically get to a doctor.

At the 2011 mHealth Summit, Verizon also demonstrated a cloud-based care-management platform from Entra Health Systems, which makes a Bluetooth-enabled glucometer.

Meanwhile, a remote-monitoring software vendor, MedApps, offers applications that transfer patient data to its CloudCare platform.