A consideration of monitoring an older person when living independently in their own home.

If you are in hospital you would be wired up for continuous heart and other bodily function monitoring. If you are in Aged High Care, whilst you might not be “wired up” there would be a protocol for monitoring you which may or may not include sensors. A recent article indicated that, for example, the toilet seat was monitored for use in an Aged Care setting. In both these settings, there is also nursing staff taking the primary role of monitoring individuals.

As discussed in a couple of previous posts, if an older person is to maintain individual living for as long as possible, especially if they are to live on their own, there is much room for including sensors for monitoring at a fine scale their in-house presence, movements, locality, bodily functions, orientation and sleep state.

This monitoring data can be sent as telemetry to an IoT Hub which can log the state of play and raise alarms where required.

There are some off-the-shelf sensors that can be used with, say an Arduino device with IoT Hub connectivity. There is teh Grove MR60BHA1 60GHz mmWave Module. This can provide respiratory and heart rate information, sleeps status as well presence/movement. It is contactless and has a range of about 0.4m to 1.5m. Presence is up to 2.5m. It has a simple higher speed serial interface and so is simple to use.

The sample code provides a continue for of statements about one person’s state. If though the data is to be sent to an IoT Hub it is better to do some analysis and only send coded data when an alarm condition occurs or if a periodic acknowledgement is required.

Grove has a number of other elated human sensors that could be simply integrated into an Arduino-Azure IoT Hub scenario:

Nb: I have no financial connection with Grove.


This is a work in progress. It is intended to develop worked examples with these devices, which I have already purchased. The objective is to be remotely aware on demand or from alerts, of the movements and location with in a unit of an independently living aged person. Also to be similarly aware of body location, sleep state, heart rate and respiration. Azure IoT is to be the point of aggregation of this telemetry data.

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