• Robert Dickerson
  • Enamul Hoque
  • Qiang Li
  • Vijay Srinivasan
  • Munir


AlarmNet is an assisted-living and residential monitoring network for smart healthcare research that opens up new opportunities for continuous monitoring of elders or those in need of medical assistance.

While preserving resident comfort and privacy, the network creates a continuous medical history.  Unobtrusive area and environmental sensors combine with wearable interactive devices to evaluate the health of spaces and the people who inhabit them.  Authorized care providers may monitor resident health and activity patterns, such as daily activity changes, which may signify changes in healthcare needs.  High costs of installation and retrofitting are avoided by using ad hoc, self-managing networks.

Within the overarching system architecture of AlarmNet are individual projects to explore particular healthcare challenges.

The AlarmNet system integrates heterogeneous devices, some wearable on the patient and some placed inside the living space.  Together they perform a health-mission specified by a healthcare provider.  Data is collected, aggregated, pre-processed, stored, and acted upon, according to the needs and condition of the residents.

Illustration of a smart assisted-living space, instrumented with sensors and devices.

Figure 1 graphically depicts the variety of sensors and devices in the architecture. Multiple body networks may be present in a single system. Traditional healthcare provider networks may connect to the system by a gateway, or directly to its database.

Some elements of the network are mobile, while others are stationary.  Some can use line power, but others depend on batteries.  If any fixed computing or communication infrastructure is present it can be used, but the system can be deployed into existing structures without the need to retrofit.

Figure 2: System architecture, showing roles of components from front-end to back-end, and physical associations among them.

Figure 2 shows the components of the architecture, dividing devices into strata based on their roles and physical interconnect.  Each piece of the architecture is described on the pages below:

These components are enhanced and extended by ongoing research projects that use the physical facilities of AlarmNet as a testbed.