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Method and system for locating a device using image recognition

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202862D
Publication Date: 2011-Jan-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 5M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The invention provides for unambiguous location determination of a mobile/portable device, specifically indoors, e.g. a medical device in a care facility using image recognition techniques. Medical devices, e.g. hospital beds, are mobile in the care facility to enable care with a minimum of disturbance to patients. For the purposes of patient administration and monitoring it is crucial that the exact location of a device, which may have only a wireless connection, is known because all data coming from the equipment must be accurately associated with the admitted patient, who is assigned to a particular station in a hospital room. The novel approach for locating the medical device is to include an image receptor in its assembly and mark the room station wall with a unique set of patterns that can be automatically recognized from the image. The invention is applicable to other devices outside the hospital/medical domain, e.g. to cargo containers, transport aids like forklifts, etc.

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Method and system for locating a device using image recognition

Abstract

The invention provides for unambiguous location determination of a mobile/portable device, specifically indoors, e.g. a medical device in a care facility using image recognition techniques. Medical devices, e.g. hospital beds, are mobile in the care facility to enable care with a minimum of disturbance to patients. For the purposes of patient administration and monitoring it is crucial that the exact location of a device, which may have only a wireless connection, is known because all data coming from the equipment must be accurately associated with the admitted patient, who is assigned to a particular station in a hospital room. The novel approach for locating the medical device is to include an image receptor in its assembly and mark the room station wall with a unique set of patterns that can be automatically recognized from the image. The invention is applicable to other devices outside the hospital/medical domain, e.g. to cargo containers, transport aids like forklifts, etc.

Principal Applications/Uses of the Invention

Unambiguous location of wireless medical devices in care facilities for the purpose of associating collected data with the correct patient records.

Problem Overcome by the Invention

Location (and self-location) via GPS or similar satellite based systems does not typically work indoors. Therefore, previous state of the art requires a medical device be physically connected via a cable to the hospital room station so the device can be accurately located. Other available techniques from prior art have not been widely adopted due to expense and inaccuracy. For example, RFID is a technique that places a passive or semi-passive instrument on the medical device. Sensors are positioned at the doorway to the room and at the room stations to detect presence of the RFID. The RFID sensors are expensive, work only at limited distances, and require retrofitting of the hospital infrastructure. Another technique widely used for accurate staff locating within a room could involve placement of an infrared emitter tag on the medical device which sends a coded signal to sensors located within the room. This is insufficient for medical device location because accuracy is needed to the station, not just to the room. Finally it is possible to use the wireless signal itself and triangulation for locating a medical device on a floor or within a wing of a hospital, but again the location accuracy is not sufficient. These techniques all require the coded signals for each RFID, tag, or the wireless MAC address to be assigned to the medical device, causing administrative overhead when equipment is added or replaced.

Advantages of the Invention

Some of the advantages of this inventi...