Wiebke Toussaint, PhD researcher under the supervision of Aaron Ding and Marijn Janssen, scooped up Second Prize in the EdgeX Foundry Ideation Challenge for her application of privacy preserving occupancy monitoring in health care facilities. The goal of the challenge was to innovate and come up with ideas on how to use the EdgeX platform, over different types of devices or domain use cases.

About the concept

In resource constrained countries, patient visits are frequently not captured digitally and thus cannot be compared across weeks, days and hours, in order to allocate staff and resources optimally. Even if patient visits could be captured faithfully by hand, this does not account for the patients that have been waiting and go home without treatment. Monitoring clinic occupancy is thus important to understand the capacity of the health care system and to use this information to improve planning decisions on a local and national level. Cameras and automated image processing are promising technologies for this application. However, visits to a healthcare facility can be sensitive, revealing confidential information about patients, who trust that their clinic visit and identity are not disclosed to a third party. The viability of using video imagery for a monitoring application in a healthcare context thus hinges on the ability to retain patient anonymity by keeping personally identifying information both secure and confidential. Sending video data to the cloud poses a security risk and revokes the patient’s control over their personal information. By processing data locally at the network edge, unique patient visits and real time clinic occupancy can be monitored accurately, without sending patient image data to the cloud.

About EdgeX Foundry

EdgeX Foundry™ is a highly flexible open-source software framework that facilitates interoperability between heterogeneous devices and applications at the IoT Edge. The project is hosted by the Linux Foundation, which is building a common open platform for IoT edge computing with LF Edge. LF Edge is an umbrella organization working to establish open, interoperable frameworks for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud or operating system. Read more about the EdgeX Foundry Ideation Challenge.