Wireless personal alarm and nurse call system

  • Health
  • Consumer
  • Wireless Data Transmission

AnSem · Wireless personal alarm and nurse call system
Televic healthcare logo

“AnSem assisted us in transforming our innovation idea from hardware prototype to ASIC. By joining the ASIC expertise of Ansem and the healthcare product knowledge of Televic, we were able to have a first-time-right ASIC design” - John Gesquiere, R&D Director


Challenge

Nurse call systems in hospitals and emergency buttons for elderly people

have been around for decades. They are very simple and easy to use but the concept has remained the same since it’s invention with limited expansions of functionality.

Televic Healthcare, the Belgian market leader in emergency or nurse call systems for hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living residences, is broadening the capabilities of the traditional nurse call system with the following features:

  • Creating a wearable assistance button so that it also can be used when people move around in the building
  • Prevention of wandering of people suffering from dementia or zoning of different areas with different access rights for each user
  • A battery life of the wearable of at least one month
  • Intuitive use for both staff and wearer

This is all done through the AQURA Care Platform designed for intramural accurate location determination. The system offers an answer to the rapidly evolving requirements for the safety and freedom of movement of the healthcare market. Since accuracy and speed of reaction are of the highest importance, AQURA combines precise technologies and a wireless medium to determine the exact location and give vital information if someone is in need. The AQURA system consist of wireless tags (aka wearables) for the people and beacons (or access points) which are installed in each room. The tags communicate with the beacons which form a mesh network in the building.

Since this emergency button is not anymore installed in a room but also worn by a person who can freely walk around, indoor localization is an essential part of the AQURA platform. What makes AQURA unique on the market? The localization can be as precise as the room level: nurses and care staff avoid rushing to the neighboring, wrong room in case of an emergency. The wearer doesn’t need any sort of training. The battery lifetime of at least a month. Lastly the system is easy to install in any building without any further wiring.

Our Solution

AnSem developed an ASIC that integrates a 40kHz UltraSonic receiver for room detection together with an RFID transceiver for room access and wandering prevention. An integrated 640 kHz PLL serves as a clock for the companion RF chip. The ASIC communicates through an SPI interface with this RF chip.

First a concept phase was executed together with Televic. As a wireless communication specialist, AnSem assisted Televic in determining the right wireless technology for the room detection and room access. A bulky Proof of Concept with all features was built that allowed to test the system concept in real life circumstances.

In a next stage , the ASIC development was performed by AnSem. Custom ASICs have the benefit that they can achieve a small form factor, low power consumption and the target product cost.

AnSem provides a full turnkey solution: Beyond the design, it also supplies the ASIC in high volume and supports Televic throughout the complete Product Life Cycle.

Key Technical statistics

  • 40kHz UltraSonic receiver
  • 13.56MHz RFID transceiver
  • 640 kHz PLL
  • SPI interface