Voice and gesture control for hospital technologies reduces germ transmission

2010, 2016

A monitor developed by Fraunhofer HHI researchers was presented at CeBIT 2016. It clearly displays the merged patient data of various medical devices in hospitals - and can be operated without physical contact. This reduces the transmission of bacteria.

The transmission of pathogens in hospitals is treacherous - as soon as hand disinfection is not carried out properly, viruses and bacteria end up in other rooms, where they pose a danger to patients. Pathogens are also common on medical equipment that is often touched. To counteract these processes, Fraunhofer HHI researchers have developed a monitor that can be controlled completely without touching it – namely via voice commands and gestures.

The device collects the most important vital data of the patient, which is otherwise displayed on a large number of monitors. In addition, the size of the graphics changes depending on the distance of the viewer. In an emergency, the doctor can see what is wrong with the patient as soon as he enters the room. Detailed information is displayed when the physician approaches the screen. To enable this, a 3D camera captures the movements and distances.

The monitor receives its information through interfaces to the medical devices in the room and the hospital's internal information systems. The data are evaluated using an intelligent alarm concept developed by the Medical Technology Section of the University of Aachen as a project partner. False alarms are avoided by the technology. Due to the web-based programming, the system can also be used on tablets.

In 2010, the gesture control system developed by the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute was presented in the German pavilion at the Expo in Shanghai. Around four million visitors tested the technology there. The motto of the world exhibition was "A better city, a better life".