A pervasive computing system for the remote management of hospital waste

Published online: Mar 22, 2016
Full Text: PDF (2.12 MiB)
DOI: 10.24138/jcomss.v12i1.91
Authors:
Eleftheria Katsiri, Konstantinos Moschou

Abstract

Waste generated by health care activities includes a broad range of materials, from used needles and syringes to soiled dressings, body parts, diagnostic samples, medical devices and radioactive materials. As a result of poor practice and large volumes, only a very small percentage of medical waste is actually disposed of properly in final reception units while the rest is unaccounted for potentially exposing the community at large to infection, toxic effects and injuries, and risking polluting the environment. This paper discusses, Greenactions, a novel Pervasive Computing system for the remote end-to-end management of hazardous medical waste. Greenactions provides real-time trace-ability for 100% of medical waste, by continually monitoring the full life cycle of each waste container, from their delivery to the hospitals, through to their collection and disposal, and providing remedial action in real-time, whenever an incident occurs. This is achieved by employing both fixed and handheld RFID and sensor technology, supported by a state-machine model that knows at any time the current and next state of each waste container. Deployed together with a small fleet of appropriately modified vehicles for waste collection, Greenactions provides an integrated solution can be applied in any waste collection and tracking scenario, without requiring any costly, proprietary infrastructure thus alleviating the burden of medical waste management from health-care units. A prototype system was developed using open source technology that is ready to be deployed to pilot healthcare units in Athens, while a set of KPIs were implemented for evaluating the efficiency of the system.

Keywords

pervasive healthcare, RFID, Sensor Networks, Remote monitoring, distributed systems, event-based middleware
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.