Wireless, ultra low-powered infusionmonitoring with minimal integration cost

 authors: Grujic, Kann, Skibbe, Schütz

Due to ever increasing workload of the nursing staff, available time per patient is sparse. To achieve appropriate care despite these circumstances, tools to relieve the personnel have to be developed.
The administration of gravity infusions poses a great problem in nursing care. To check whether an infusion is malfunctioning or has run dry it has to be constantly monitored, which is time-consuming for the personnel and unpleasant for the patient.

On these grounds an energy-self-sufficient IoT solution has been developed which offers a central monitoring of all gravity infusions currently in use. The WiFusion system can be integrated in existing networks as well as being used separately.

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Frist Prototype of the WiFusion-Sensor

The system is comprised of the solar-powered sensor unit WiFusion Sense and the network node WiFusion Node.

The WiFusion Sense consists of sensor, processing, communication and energy harvesting unit.
The infusion’s liquid level is monitored via its weight gradient, which is measured by a strain gauge. The resulting signal is then amplified, digitalized and transmitted to a microcontroller. The microcontroller transmits the measured data via Bluetooth Low Energy protocol to the nearest WiFusion node.
The WiFusion Sense is powered by an energy harvesting unit which receives energy from a small solar cell. Due to the low energy requirements of the unit, the infusion’s weight can be measured and transmitted up to ten times per minute with average office lighting, which makes near real time infusion monitoring possible. During dark periods the unit can be powered by excessive harvested energy or an optional battery.

The WiFusion Node acts as a link between one or more sensor units and an existing network. It receives the

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WiFusion Sense 3D Animation

Bluetooth data from the WiFusion Sense and forwards it via Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11). Through unique identifiers of the mobile WiFusion Sense units and the stationary WiFusion Node units it is possible to locate individual infusions.
For analysis and visualization of the data, a webserver application has been developed which can be installed on any computer unit. The webserver can then be accessed from any device connected to the network.