Caregivers and nurses often have to watch over several patients at once. There are certain times that a patient may have to take medication or need to be moved in order to prevent bed sores. If they are asleep, however, nurses will have to wake them. Patients may become grumpy, groggy or difficult to wake if they are in a deep sleep. If we can track which sleep cycle a patient currently is in, caretakers can take advantage of a light sleep cycle to wake patients. Patients may also leave the bed unbeknownst to caretakers so the device could double as a bed alarm as well.
Our goal was to design a device that can track a patient’s sleep cycle based on movement. Using an accelerometer feeding into a microcontroller, an algorithm analyzes the accelerometer data from a patient’s movement on the bed to translate it into what sleep cycle he/she currently is in. We plan to be able to plug in the data into a computer alongside all other data in a patient monitoring system. This way a nurse can monitor multiple patients from a central location.
This project is currently in progress and is rapidly making progress. We hope to have a working prototype by the end of the year with reliable data.