Elderly care LoRaWAN products

I got some requests for examples of elderly care products that use LoRaWAN. Was not able to find them anywhere.

Is anybody aware of the availability of these products?


Hmm indeed; I couldn’t find any neither, searched for it a couple of months ago.
Only found a use-case where they used ‘radio-transmission’ for a kind of panic button. But couldn’t found out the protocol used (might also be GSM based). Also doubting if LoRa/TTN is the best fit for these ‘critical’ applications.

Very curious about different use-cases, though. Like remote temp sensing. But then where in the ‘medical’-area not specific elderly.

Fall detection using lorawan accelerometer :slight_smile:

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Not a product, but the winning team in Swisscom IoT hackathon last year was exactly that. A LoRa-based alarm system for elderly and dementia patients, with some cool tweaks to be privacy preserving while still helpful to track risk situations. GrossiAlarm was the name of their project.

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There is an impressive case from 2011/2012, where a group of friends/colleagues built what we now know as an Assisted Living Environment for the ALS patient Alan. See Alan’s case here
That application was the basis for OpenRemote. (Obviously not LoraWan, but rather a mix of protocols)

Mylively.com < that was it. I tried to search it, but keep ending up on https://www.xively.com/ :slight_smile:

18 posts were merged into an existing topic: Risk management for TTN

My mother is old and lives alone.
Just recently they installed in her appartment building fiber cable, she doesn’t need it at the moment but …
If you want, you can connect all kind of services with a decoder, like

television / radio / telephone
superfast internet


A video stream, connect the decoder and webcam to a television, install the same (or an app) at the caretaker.
Now you can see her ‘live’ and talk to her with the push of a button ( skypelike… but without a PC)
You can rent that system per month… so if she’s sick just connect it.

I think that other 'elderly care products will be available in the future …
Lets say my mother forgets a lot, then we have a automated medicine box, if she didn’t take her medicine (opend the box) her caretaker receives a message.
If she falls, If her bloodpressure is not ok and maybe… a sensor in the toilet that analyses her urine ?

the power of LoRaWAN is long range wireless communication … not realtime super secure domotica imho


Not quite the answer you want, but I ported an Electric Imp based Granny monitor to LoRaWAN just to prove a point.
It worked perfectly and I was able to change settings in the sensor over LoRaWAN from a Web UI.

We still actively use the solution to monitor my 84 yr old mother in-law and as do friends for their elderly parents.

The sensor uses a simple but high quality but tiny Panasonic PIR along with I2C temp/humidity sensor.
The sensor has a sliding activity window that creates a series of moment/activity events.
Which are logged on a LAMP solution which sends notifications and drives a Web Ui.
This would be very easy for anyone in the community to create.

Blog post on original design has screen shots. Granny monitor

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nice project !

question, how did you change sensor settings over LoRaWAN , for the pir ?

(you sure it isn’t over wifi with an ESP ?)

The sensor is LoRaWAN class A.
So for every msg sent (up-link) LoRaWAN has 2 (down-link) receive slots.

UI sends msg LAMP server which is polled by my LoRaWAN Multitech Node-RED gateway.
It pulls the parameter change msg and queues it.
Next time sensor sends the it’s up-link msg the LoRaWAN Gateway sends the queued down-link msg to sensor.

I’m so out of date with TTN current architecture, but believe downlink messaging is now supported.

I used a Multitech mDot as a LoRaWAN modem and Espruino MCU which runs embedded Javascript .

ok makes sense… I’m working more or less on the same thing/principle, off course the node is ‘intelligent’ not to send to much ‘movement’ traffic over LoRaWAN :innocent:

My mother passed last year and in my experience, I could not find a realistic use-case for using Lorawan that was better than what was already securely available.

One has to be careful of thinking that everything looks like a nail when the only tool you have is a hammer. In the end, Lorawan is just a means of communicating data and that is all it is.

Any care systems has to involve first and foremost consent from the elderly person. It also must involve constant manual input from other people.
Without constant attention from other people (such as a MDT team), even automated pill boxes are useless and very dangerous. A far better solution is a locked medicine box, which can only be opened by a care visitor, who also records the dosage. Even that solution has legal implications regarding a doctor then being put into a position where they may have to say that the elderly person is no longer mentally capable.
Here are some reasons why an automated pill box on its own is dangerous:

  • There is no proof that the correct dosage of medicine was taken at the right time
  • There is no mechanism to automatically report shortfalls in the case
  • The drugs should be checked to see if out of date
  • The drugs should be checked to see if they fit the current prescription (from hospital / nurse or doctor / locum?)

If one wants the best care for parents, the one thing above everything else to check first is that THE CARE RECIPIENT IS HAPPY WITH THE REGIME. I can’t stress this enough.

Consider how you would feel if someone said to you “Right, from now on you always have to wear this device, I don’t care if it is uncomfortable. You will also be listened to and video’d 24 hours a day until you die”

I could go on and on - but the biggest headache for me was having to ensure that correct communications were carried out amongst the different teams involved with my mother’s care e.g. when my mother was transferred from different parts of the NHS

  • from doctors
  • visiting nurses
  • home care visit teams
  • Meals on wheels
  • Social workers,
  • Hospital admissions
  • Hospital discharges.

I found that any proper care system that you want for your mother has to involve the people above (called the MDT team)

Telecare was great for my mum and this gives more info on it
When you listen to it, consider where lorawan fits - I’d be interested to hear anyone say that the use of lorawan here was more suitable. I certainly didn’t see it.
I’m sure that GPS trackers is a great usecase, but I don’t see lorawan being used to replace the dedicated communication protocols that are already in place.

In the end, for elderly care, the telephone is the main part of the system - with the lines being manned 24 hours a day. The sensors connect with the telephone and when they trigger, (fire alarm, smoke alarm, bed sensor, temp sensor etc), the 24 hour care team member phones up and the telephone system now automatically answers and immediately acts as a loudspeaker. (thats the clever bit)
If the sensor is a “fall” indicator or “neck” pendant, the care team member calls out over the loudspeaker “Madame XXX, Are you OK?” This is to confirm if it is a false alarm or not. If nothing is heard, the paramedics are then called out. This happened many times with my mother and saved her life. The firebrigade got called out a few times as well.
As you can see, it is not the current data communication bit that is problematic - that works fine within the telecare system.

Not only that, but the telephone device health checks itself - if it can’t hear the sensors that have been assigned to it, it phones the call centre to say there is a fault.
Why would you implement a lorawan solution, where the data has to go all the way across the internet - when really all you need is for the data to go to the telephone device?
Another reason why using lorawan is mute, is that by basing the system around a telephone, broadband isn’t required.
The other thing is, if the person didn’t have a telephone, how would the 24 hour care team check if it was a false alarm or not ?
Consider that elderly people also like the idea of someone phoning them up.

Yet another thing is the system maintenance POV, the 24 hour care team can phone the system and interrogate the telephone device and “instruct” the sensors to ping back that they are OK - As we all know, downlink is not easily done with Lorawan, and that is the commercial deathknell for using Lorawan technology in health care - its just too damn costly to keep the care team waiting on the line when they are commissioning the system initially, waiting ages for Lorawan to ping the devices because of a fair usage scheme

LoRa(WAN) is just the data transport mechanism.

There is a big future for non evasive (no video camera’s) monitoring of senior citizens with an intelligent backend that learns from the behavior and knows who to ‘call’ when the normal patterns are different.
In fact, there are some Dutch companies testing these systems at this moment.

The assisted living market is estimated to be worth £10.1 billion (2015) . Currently, the elderly population is becoming much larger within the UK and Europe, meaning that care facilities and at home carers will soon see their resources stretched if the industry doesn’t adapt.
So a big BIG future for assisted living and off course LoRa technology :sunglasses:

@BoRRoZ This may be what you are looking for…

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I have met Adri a few times on which he showed the progress on this project.
Great to see that the market is interested and hope it will help people to stay
at home longer and feel save in the process.

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an interesting development is this :
In Germany a big percentage of the homes have so called smart energy meters (like they are installing in NL to)

They generate a lot of data So they offer now the possibility to ‘watch’ a home… they know what and how the average energy consumption is during the day … when there is a change something could be wrong (diference in the normal day pattern of energy consumption) they can send an alert SMS to family or caretaker, this will be a new service and income source for energy companies.
Off course all secret services have permanent access allready :wink:

example… elderly makes coffe every morning around 8… but not today —> alert send.