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Research & Innovation

Don’t touch!

The Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) is showcasing "Proximec" at the Fraunhofer pavilion at CeBIT 2016 in Hannover – a medical monitoring system that keeps a close eye (and ear) on patients and can be operated via contactless remote control.

16 Mar. 2016

Timing is crucial – especially in the critical situations that arise in an intensive care unit. "Leitwarte" has thus been set up as a Fraunhofer HHI joint research project to deliver a system solution for intensive care units that optimizes the procedures carried out in this key hospital department. The Proximec monitor developed as part of this project is designed to help provide doctors and carers with vital patient information as quickly as possible. The monitor uses integrated interfaces to communicate directly with medical equipment within the room and the hospital’s information systems. Thanks to a web-based user interface, information can also be displayed on mobile monitors such as smartphones and tablets. However, the real innovation of the Proximec monitor lies in using contactless gestures and voice commands to control the system remotely.

The key advantage of this form of control is that no physical contact is required from doctors and carers, thus considerably reducing the risk of transmitting germs and other pathogens. Three cameras and a microphone are used to ensure the contactless instructions are picked up correctly. Software developed by Fraunhofer HHI then uses this data to ascertain whether there are people in the area, how far they are from the screen, and which gestures they are making. Pre-programmed gestures can thus be used to call for assistance, for instance, or to activate emergency procedures. Anyone interested in a closer look at this optical and auditory monitoring system for improved hygiene and usability in intensive care units should head to the Fraunhofer pavilion at CeBIT.

Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut (10587 Berlin, Germany), Hall 6, Stand E40