eNurse - Embedded device to monitor health signs for small kids

Published by Fabio Rocha in the blog Fabio Rocha's blog. Views: 359

Parents are always concerned by children’s health, mainly when a child is sick. Parents used to verify the child well-being by checking its temperature. However,
it is very inconvenient to disturb a child at night and check if everything is normal. In the project eNurse I intend to create an embedded device to be used by small children in a non invasive way. This device will be able to measure and send the child's temperature to a mobile app. At the mobile App, the temperature is shown graphically. Every time the temperature violates the normal range, meaning fever or hypothermia, an alarm will sound.

The idea for eNurse came to me as a personal life experience. As a father of a baby girl I had to face the problem of taking care of a sick child at night which should be constantly watched for fever. My nights were not easy as I ended up waking my daughter when trying to measure her temperature. I have to say that once in a while I was so tired by lack of sleep that I was not sure about her meds nor their periodicity. I decided to do something about it to help me and help other families too. As a result the eNurse project was born.

The device is still a prototype, as it is big, and a kind of ugly. Also, it only measures the temperature. This is what I could to with the time and resources I had available. With time I intend to extend the device to capture data from other sensors (heath beat, accelerometer, etc.).
Temperature sensor - MAX 31875
Node MCU kit (esp8266)
Android device
wires, usb cables, etc.
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Most of this project is composed by software. 1) software running on the microcontroller and 2) Software running on the mobile app.

In this project I use the microcontroller esp8266 to capture the temperature from the MAX31875 using the I2C protocol. I had to read the datasheet and realize how to send the messages the MAX31875 was expecting to return the temperature. As the microcontroller has a Wifi module I could connect to my access point, receive an IP, register the name eNurse on my access point and create a websocket server inside the microcontroller . An Android App will connect to the eNurse device on my home network and receive temperature samples every 3 seconds. The mobile App will plot the temperature and show that was the last sample received. The mobile App can auto-reconnect to the webserver if the eNurse was turned off and on.

Most of the time the ESP8266 work as a station, connected to an Access point. However, I set a pin to start the a ESP8266 in ACCESS point mode, in this mode the ESP work as an access point and other devices can connect with. I call this mode a SETUP mode, because you can use your notebook/cellphone/tablet to connect to the micro-controller and configure the name and password of you access point. Them, the ESP will reset, configure itself to work as a station and connect on your access point.


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