I have been given a project (medical wellness check)

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#1

Ok so i have been given a bunch of smart things to see if i can get them working.

As a basic outline of the project it is a use of devices to monitor a home to make sure the end user is still alive !

I have a hub, a few lifx lights (aint they just fun to connect)
a motion sensor or two
multi purpose sensors
and some bluetooth speakers.
a Rasb.Pi
and a mobile internet stick

from what i am told i should be able to connect the devices to the hub, then the hub should talk to the smart-things cloud
From the smart things cloud using ‘Relay’ i should be able to talk to the Rasb.Pi which can use the USB modem stick to send me SMS text as to alerts or activities on the Hub Network.

So far i have connected 1 LIFX to the hub, the hub ad batteries in it and are now flat. I tried the power supply ( and ran a multimeter over it and get 7v output but the but wont power up. I haven’t replaced batteries in the hub yet as i want to see if it powers up without batteries. Please advise me if it batteries are a must.

Looking forward to moving along with this project. I would really appreciate some feedback & help as i am the guy who is good at connecting things and getting them to work but some of the technical ins & outs are going to see me learning as i go.

Thanks in Advance.


#2

This kind of project is typically called a “wellness check.” You’ll find quite a few similar projects in the forums. At one point there was a community member who worked with the VA who came up with a number of really interesting ways to monitor whether someone in a house Was going through their daily routine.

One of the absolute simplest is just put a sensor on the refrigerator. :sunglasses: Some other options are pressure mats in the bedroom to make sure someone has gotten out of bed, a contact sensor on a drawer where daily medicine is kept to make sure the drawer has been opened, all kinds of things. I’ll put links to some of those projects in a minute.

The baseline question: what reliability do you expect?

All of that said, as a medically fragile person myself at the present time I would not consider SmartThings reliable enough to function as a wellness check for someone who really needed one.

Since last October I have yet to go 10 days without an impactful SmartThings failure. Sometimes all that is required is taking the batteries out of a sensor and putting them back in to reset it – – but since I have very limited hand function, I have to pay someone else to do that. This makes me very aware of these issues.

SmartThings also does occasional false reporting, and that could be very dangerous in a wellness check system.

Also, even when everything is working perfectly, SmartThings can and does push out updates to the home system which can take it off-line for anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. You cannot postpone or refuse these updates. Sometimes we get notification a few days in advance, but not always. This kind of interruption is often unacceptable for a primary medical monitoring system, so it’s something to be aware of.

When SmartThings works well, it is my favorite home automation system, but the reliability just isn’t there yet for a medical support system. I now use mine for noncritical notifications like getting a notification if the guestroom window was left open when rain is expected.

So I just wanted to mention all of that. If you search the forums for “stability” or “reliability” you’ll find many discussions of these issues. Still, you might find some of the following ideas helpful for secondary monitoring.

Project ideas

OK, onto the good news. Here are links to some of the other projects people have used.

https://blog.smartthings.com/featured/spotlight-smartthings-can-help-aging-loved-ones/
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I’m sure there are more of these, but that should be enough to get you started. :sunglasses:


#3

As far as the hub goes, you can run it without batteries at all. The batteries are only intended as a short-term back up for if the house power goes out, maybe to last three or four hours. Normally they will not be used as a device should be on corded power.

Also very important for a wellness check system, Very few things in ST can actually run locally at the present time. Right now it’s limited just to a few devices, mostly light switches, and the official “smart lighting” automation feature. And a little bit of smart home monitor. No custom code can run locally. Routines do not run locally. None of the other published smartapps in the marketplace section of the smartthings mobile app can run locally.

So if you did install the “eldercare” smartapp from the marketplace, it’s still not going to run locally.


#4

wow, thanks for the reading list. It appears there are a few of us trying to achieve the same end result, it’ll be good to filter thru the pages and see what is and what isn’t possible. At the moment i’m just trying to connect a few things.


(John Rucker) #5

I have one quick thing to add. Just so you know you can send a text to a smartphone directly from a SmartApp. You don’t need your Pi to do that. [quote=“supaflygy, post:1, topic:52403”]
From the smart things cloud using ‘Relay’ i should be able to talk to the Rasb.Pi which can use the USB modem stick to send me SMS text as to alerts or activities on the Hub Network.
[/quote]