Logic to detect person not responding in bathroom



Would it be possible to write a smart app that would do this?

With a motion detector inside a bathroom and one outside the bathroom door. Could also have a door sensor on the bathroom door.

I want to know if a person (alone in an apartment) went into the bathroom, then fell or became unresponsive and did not exit within say 10 minutes. So the inside sensor would detect motion and the one outside would not. Then both become silent for 10 minutes. Then send one or more emails and/or SMS messages.

One could include a door sensor on the bathroom door.

Another situation that we might want to program is: Say an older person living alone and a relative wants to know if he/she would become incapacitated or even die. Motion sensors would normally detect activity during the different times of day and door sensors could detect maybe refrigerator door opening. Then if none of this happened for a period of time, send a message by email and/or SMS to one or more designated people. Can this be done with the Smartthings hub, available sensors and custom apps?

I have been given a project (medical wellness check)

This is a very popular question. There are already two smartapps supplied with SmartThings to do some of this:

And just in case those don’t meet your specific needs, multiple people Have created variations of this idea. Whether it would be reliable is a different question.

See the following topics:

And another for a very similar use case:

And another:

One where people shared several ideas:

And the medical Smarthome topic:

Those should give you some ideas to get started. :sunglasses:. There are obviously many different ways to approach this, depending on the exact details of each use case. (The presence of a dog or cat in the home, for example, greatly complicates the setup. Then you might want to trigger off a drawer where daily medication is kept not being opened, rather than motion in a room.

Some people simply monitor whether the person is home but the refrigerator has not been opened for 6 hours between 6 am and midnight, for example. Lots of variations.)

(Paul) #3

What is technically the difference between a motion sensor and occupancy sensor?

Would an occupancy sensor be able to detect presence of a person and the motion sensor indicate no motion?

(Jeff May) #4

I am building a product that does things similar to this, although I don’t actually write much code in the Groovy IDE I send it to my service that integrates with other data systems (like Ubisense RTLS, Whitings, Google Calendar, and hopefully Life360). That allows me to integrate just about anything and write it into any kind of app. It also lets me do more in terms of having services running that are monitoring various states and activites.

With that said, I would recommend trying not to get too slick or complex because that increases the chances of bugs or unaccounted situations. Also I wouldn’t really trust anything where I needed to TRUST who was at home. The GPS is not reliable (phone battery goes bad, sometimes it does jump people way off) and not sure I trusty the presence sensor much more.

I don’t think I would trust that he will always grab something as that is the nature of dementia.

I would just have an alarm or text or whatever go off if an exterior door ever opens after 8pm or whenever manually set by the spouse (when leaving the house). Have a tablet mounted on the wall where the spouse can disarm a notice to you.

Other info -
So we are using the Ubisense RTLS tracking on our patients to know where they are to within 12". We can also see if they are moving even if not 12" because the tag will beacon if even slightly vibrated. The problem is that this system is very expensive for the homes right now. Also looking at iBeacons (tell you if you are within x feet of an area) and webcams and Knect technology is getting really good and interesting right now. I also like Life360 for tracking someone who is out of the home and looking forward to them releasing their API.


A motion sensor simply detects motion. Person A, person B, the dog, the air conditioner coming on: it’s all the same to a motion sensor. It also can’t tell the difference between a person coming in or going out.

The term “occupancy sensor” or “occupancy switch” is used by some lighting companies who make devices for office buildings and hotels to mean a light switch with a built in motion sensor.

However, the term “occupancy sensor” is also used for an entirely different kind of device: one that either counts how many people are in a room, or one that tracks specific individuals.

Secure facilities, including some hospitals, track individual people, usually by a badge or wristband. Think Star Trek: “Computer, where is Ensign Silver?” “Ensign Silver is in Holodeck 4.” That’s occupancy.

But there’s no fixed definition for an “occupancy sensor.” There are a bunch of different possible technologies. Most are too expensive, or too complex, for cheap DIY home automation right now, although everyone expects this to be common in a few years.

Quite a few home automation companies now use the term “presence sensor” instead, as SmartThings done. Probably to distinguish it from those office building switches. “Michael is home,” not just “something moved.”

Another term is “microlocation,” used to distinguish further between a presence sensor that covers a large area, typically a whole house, and “Michael is in the living room.”

Quite a few people believe future microlocation will be based on a device that can listen for heartbeats, recognizing some individuals but also being able to respond to strangers. Which is both cool and creepy.

So a “motion sensor” detects motion. An “occupany sensor” could be any of many technologies used in different ways, the term has a lot of different meanings.

Did that help? In a home automation discussion, people often use “occupancy” to mean microlocation: “Michael is in the living room; Charlie is in the kitchen.” But while systems to do this exist, they’re very expensive and don’t interface directly with SmartThings. So a lot of people try to build their own cheaper versions.


my previous post Crossposted with @jeffmay33 's. :blush: This one is in response to his comment about not relying on the ST presence sensor for safety monitoring.

I myself don’t find a single locator device reliable enough with SmartThings for presence detection.

Originally I used an occupancy approach: I combined using a presence sensor at the geofence with a specific motion sensor (literally on the closet shelf under my hat) and mode management so that the system ignored presence sensor reports unless the hat had been moved.

That worked well, but was limiting since I had to move that particular hat each time I was going out even if I wasn’t going to actually wear it.

Later I switched to an iBeacon method, but to avoid battery drain on my phone we reversed the usual approach. I have a tablet which is always plugged in anyway. Actually I have two, one in the living room and one in the bedroom. I added the Beecon+ app to both and attached an Estimote iBeacon to my wheelchair. (I’m not leaving home without that unless it’s in an ambulance!)

Now we have microlocation for two zones: “JD is in the livingroom” and “JD is in the bedroom.” Relatively inexpensive since we were already using the tablets as fixed stations and it only requires one $35 iBeacon per person and one $9 app per tablet. Especially nice because just the dog moving from room to room doesn’t trigger anything. :dog:

At our house, the iBeacons have proven much more reliable than the geopresence methods, but everyone’s experience is different. And of course attaching the iBeacon to the wheelchair means it never gets left behind.

I am just starting to look into using the new IFTTT Maker Channel with Beecon+, but I think I am going to add this for a few things. It means the iBeacon on my chair can be used to trigger microlocation-specific actions for anything that has an IFTTT channel. :sunglasses:

But the iBeacon being on my chair gives me use case flexibility a lot of people don’t have. I suspect most people will wait for inexpensive wristband or smart watch systems to come out.