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Towards smart care beds for Haelvoet with Mechatronics 4.0

Haelvoet, which manufactures beds for the health and care sector, was looking for ways to make patient care more efficient while also enhancing comfort and safety. Sirris developed a prototype for a smart bed, involving sensors, a central processing unit and a software application. This will allow healthcare professionals to better monitor their patients and automate their workflow.
  • Research project into smart care beds
  • Focus on cost-effective technology
  • Demo version showcased on Open Company Day

 

Haelvoet, based in Ingelmunster, has been manufacturing furniture for hospitals, nursing homes and other care centres for over 80 years. Its beds, stretchers, seats, bedside tables and easy chairs are designed to be as user-friendly as possible for patients and professionals alike.

“The concept ties in with three themes of the Mechatronics 4.0 project: connectivity, low-cost electronics and condition monitoring.”

haelvoet bed

More efficient care at a lower cost

An ageing population and chronic understaffing are placing the health and care sector under great pressure. Efficiency is the new mantra, but enhancing patient comfort is also high on the agenda. As a manufacturer of furniture for hospitals and care homes, Haelvoet was keen to embrace mechatronic technology while keeping the costs down. With this in mind, the Ingelmunster-based firm teamed up with Sirris as part of the Mechatronics 4.0 project. Run by Sirris with its partners Flanders Make and iMinds, Mechatronics 4.0 helps Flemish SMEs move towards greater innovation and smarter machines.

Feasibility of the Smartbed concept

The feasibility study focused on the design and demonstration of the sensors. We began by identifying the requirements and the sensor technologies available. The next step was to devise sensor configurations and algorithms, in order to minimise the number of sensors while ensuring robust monitoring of the patient’s condition. We then validated the configurations and algorithms by means of testing. 

Smartbed demo version

Sirris’s feasibility study resulted in a demo version of the Smartbed, which gives nursing staff a good overview of the patient’s condition. Using a tablet-based app, they can see the patient’s position in the bed and whether he/she is agitated or gets out of the bed. Patient information can also be entered in the app and the patient’s needs prioritised, for example based on medical conditions or risk factors. Flanders Make showcased the Smartbed to the public on Open Company Day.