• Medic alert

    Medic alert

    Researchers at the University of Johannesburg’s Institute for Intelligent Systems are developing a healthcare system that uses Industry 4.0 technologies to enable medical practitioners to monitor and diagnose patients remotely.

    Designed for use in health- and eldercare facilities, the e-Mutakalo device (named after the Tshivenda word for ‘health’) has two components – ambient and wearable sensors. These monitor a patient’s condition, using the internet of things and AI to remotely collect, process and analyse real-time vital-signs data. They will send healthcare staff an alert if there’s a change in the patient’s condition and/or an emergency.

    This technology is especially useful for patients who require medical attention while healthcare practitioners or care providers are on intervals between patients, according to Wesley Doorsamy, associate professor and researcher at IIS. ‘[It] allows for a more natural and unobtrusive approach to continuous monitoring and observation of patients.’

    The system was designed to be low-cost and to help alleviate the impact of skilled-staff shortages, budget shortfalls and an ever-increasing number of in-patients in healthcare facilities. Now in its final development phase, pilots are set to take place soon in both public and private sector spheres.

    24 March 2020
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images