A UAV for Triage Assessment of Chronic Illness in a GPS-Denied Environment



Publication Details

Todd, C., Watfa, M. K., Stephens, M., Lutfi, A., Copiaco, A., Agarwal, V., Afsari, K., Johnathon, C., Okafor, O. & Ayad, M. (2015). A UAV for Triage Assessment of Chronic Illness in a GPS-Denied Environment. International Journal of Robotics and Automation, 2 73-86.


In this paper we conduct an extensive review of the literature toward an autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for application in home healthcare. Based on the research findings, a system is proposed towards such a UAV for the purpose of patient care in an indoor environment, specifically in triage care for people living with chronic conditions. Our system seeks to provide an innovative solution for healthcare at home and to facilitate independent living as well as reduce over triaging through personalized robotics. The development of advanced navigation systems for UAVs has aroused extensive interest recently because of its enormous potential. In comparison to outdoor flight, GPSdenied navigation poses several distinct challenges in stability and control for quadcopter operability, including object detection and avoidance, real-time wireless client-server communications, stability and safety concerns. Medical Decision Support Systems (DSSs), which have been developed largely in the triage component of health assessment, care and decision making, also pose separate research challenges in terms of accuracy, consistency, response (processing) time and degree of automatic operation. As a single system, a drone-based DSS for chronic illness triage assessment poses unique challenges. For this application, the DSS requires voice-based responses, occurring in realtime and classified according to a dynamic and adaptive decision support engine that operates automatically; that is, with no human input and using non-invasive patient analysis. Existing healthcare systems of this nature have not yet been produced. Furthermore, patient recognition through real-time image fused with voice data in a noisy, GPS-denied environment has yet to be achieved. While path planning, navigation, control and stability concerns have been extensively addressed, accuracy for these systems can be improved and the technology as well as applied algorithms must be adapted to application-based requirements, in terms of weight, processing and dedicated communication requirements.

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