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Title:
METHOD, SERVER, COMPUTER PROGRAM AND COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT FOR FACILITATING ASSISTANCE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/160123
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
It is presented a method for facilitating assistance of a user. The method is performed in a server and comprises the steps of: receiving an assistance request message from an electronic user device of the user; determining an allocated agent, from a plurality of agents, to provide assistance for the user; transmitting an assistance order message to an electronic agent device of the allocated agent, the assistance order message comprising a location of the user; receiving a confirmation message from the electronic agent device; and tracking a position of the electronic agent device until the electronic agent device reaches the location of the user.

Inventors:
LIDGREN, Lars (Olshögsvägen 12, Lund, 224 60, SE)
Application Number:
SE2018/050189
Publication Date:
September 07, 2018
Filing Date:
February 28, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
RETHINKING CARE SWEDEN AB (Scheelevägen 27, Lund, 223 63, SE)
International Classes:
G06Q10/06; G06Q50/00; G06Q50/22; G06Q10/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO1999030257A11999-06-17
Foreign References:
US20020077876A12002-06-20
US20130040600A12013-02-14
US20030014297A12003-01-16
US20030125963A12003-07-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KRANSELL & WENNBORG KB (P.O. Box, 11593 Stockholm, 11593, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS l. A method for facilitating assistance of a user (5), the method being performed in a server (1) and comprising the steps of:

receiving (40) an assistance request message (20) from an electronic user device (2) of the user (5);

determining (42) an allocated agent (6), from a plurality of agents, to provide assistance for the user (5);

transmitting (48) an assistance order message (25) to an electronic agent device (3) of the allocated agent (6), the assistance order message comprising a location of the user;

receiving (49) a confirmation message from the electronic agent device (3); and

tracking (50) a position of the electronic agent device (3) until the electronic agent device (3) reaches the location of the user (5). 2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the step of tracking (50) comprises providing an estimated time of arrival of the allocated agent (6) at the user (5).

3. The method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the assistance request message comprises an indication of a position of the user device (2). 4. The method according to any one of the preceding claim, wherein the step of determining (42) an allocated agent (6) comprises determining an allocated agent (6) based on the position of the user device (2) and respective positions of the plurality of agents.

5. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising the step of:

obtaining (44) medical records (22) of the user from a database (4); and wherein the assistance order message (25) comprises at least part of the medical records.

6. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising the steps of:

receiving (51) an image captured by the allocated agent or health data captured by the allocated agent, relating to a condition of the user (5); and storing (52) the image or health data in a database in association with the user (5).

7. The method according to claim 6, further comprising the steps of: receiving (54) a request to set up a real-time video communication channel with an expert for consultation;

establishing (56) the real-time video communication channel for consultation; and

transmitting (58) the image or health data, captured by the allocated agent, to the expert.

8. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising the step of:

triggering (46) the transmission of a physical access credential to the allocated agent, to enable access of the allocated agent to a locked physical space of the user (5).

9. A server (1) for facilitating assistance of a user (5), the server (1) comprising:

a processor (60); and

a memory (64) storing instructions (67) that, when executed by the processor, cause the server (1) to:

receive an assistance request message (20) from an electronic user device (2) of the user (5);

determine an allocated agent (6), from a plurality of agents, to provide assistance for the user (5);

transmit an assistance order message (25) to an electronic agent device (3) of the allocated agent (6), the assistance order message comprising a location of the user;

receive a confirmation message from the electronic agent device (3); and

track a position of the electronic agent device (3) until the electronic agent device (3) reaches the location of the user (5).

10. A computer program (67, 91) for facilitating assistance of a user (5), the computer program comprising computer program code which, when run on a server (1) causes the server (1) to:

receive an assistance request message (20) from an electronic user device (2) of the user (5);

determine an allocated agent (6), from a plurality of agents, to provide assistance for the user (5);

transmit an assistance order message (25) to an electronic agent device (3) of the allocated agent (6), the assistance order message comprising a location of the user;

receive a confirmation message from the electronic agent device (3); and

track a position of the electronic agent device (3) until the electronic agent device (3) reaches the location of the user (5).

11. A computer program product (64, 90) comprising a computer program according to claim 10 and a computer readable means on which the computer program is stored.

Description:
METHOD, SERVER, COMPUTER PROGRAM AND COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT FOR FACILITATING ASSISTANCE

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to a method, a server, a computer program and a computer program product for facilitating assistance.

BACKGROUND

In the industrialised world, demographics are clearly changing towards an age quake with a greater proportion of older people. In 2030, one quarter of the European population, about 100 million people, will be sedentary.

Advances in health care, medical and technical science not only allow people to live longer but also to stay longer in their own homes. One out of five people, aged 70 and over, in Sweden have been operated with at least one joint prosthesis. While living at home provides clear positive effects on people's wellbeing, it is a substantial challenge to provide emergency medical care when needed in the home environment. Inadequate staffing makes this a reality also at nursing and elderly care outside hospitals.

Regular home service can take care of day-to-day tasks and there are ambulances for red alert emergency situations. However, there is a large gap between these two types of services, e.g. when a person needs assistance relatively quickly, but when it might not be a medical emergency that requires an ambulance. While relatives try to cover this gap, many elderly do not have close relatives, or at least not relatives in the vicinity to help.

Moreover, many would like to manage their situation without needing to depend on relatives for medical assistance. The average time for an

ambulance to arrive at the emergency destination in a major cities like in Gothenburg, Sweden is 17 minutes.

SUMMARY

It is an object to provide a system where users can be provided with assistance by an agent. According to a first aspect, it is presented a method for facilitating assistance of a user. The method is performed in a server and comprises the steps of: receiving an assistance request message from an electronic user device of the user; determining an allocated agent, from a plurality of agents, to provide assistance for the user; transmitting an assistance order message to an electronic agent device of the allocated agent, the assistance order message comprising a location of the user; receiving a confirmation message from the electronic agent device; and tracking a position of the electronic agent device until the electronic agent device reaches the location of the user. The step of tracking may comprise providing an estimated time of arrival of the allocated agent at the user.

The assistance request message may comprise an indication of a position of the user device.

The step of determining an allocated agent may comprise determining an allocated agent based on the position of the user device and respective positions of the plurality of agents.

The method may further comprise the step of: obtaining medical records of the user from a database, in which case the assistance order message comprises at least part of the medical records. The method may further comprise the steps of: receiving an image captured by the allocated agent or health data captured by the allocated agent, relating to a condition of the user; and storing the image or health data in a database in association with the user.

The method may further comprise the steps of: receiving a request to set up a real-time video communication channel with an expert for consultation; establishing the real-time video communication channel for consultation; and transmitting the image or health data, captured by the allocated agent, to the expert. The method may further comprise the step of: triggering the transmission of a physical access credential to the allocated agent, to enable access of the allocated agent to a locked physical space of the user.

According to a second aspect, it is presented a server for facilitating assistance of a user. The server comprises: a processor; and a memory storing instructions that, when executed by the processor, cause the server to: receive an assistance request message from an electronic user device of the user; determine an allocated agent, from a plurality of agents, to provide assistance for the user; transmit an assistance order message to an electronic agent device of the allocated agent, the assistance order message comprising a location of the user; receive a confirmation message from the electronic agent device; and track a position of the electronic agent device until the electronic agent device reaches the location of the user.

According to a third aspect, it is presented a computer program for

facilitating assistance of a user. The computer program comprising computer program code which, when run on a server causes the server to: receive an assistance request message from an electronic user device of the user;

determine an allocated agent, from a plurality of agents, to provide assistance for the user; transmit an assistance order message to an electronic agent device of the allocated agent, the assistance order message comprising a location of the user; receive a confirmation message from the electronic agent device; and track a position of the electronic agent device until the electronic agent device reaches the location of the user.

According to a fourth aspect, it is presented a computer program product comprising a computer program according to the third aspect and a computer readable means on which the computer program is stored.

Generally, all terms used in the claims are to be interpreted according to their ordinary meaning in the technical field, unless explicitly defined otherwise herein. All references to "a/an/the element, apparatus, component, means, step, etc." are to be interpreted openly as referring to at least one instance of the element, apparatus, component, means, step, etc., unless explicitly stated otherwise. The steps of any method disclosed herein do not have to be performed in the exact order disclosed, unless explicitly stated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is now described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig l is a schematic diagram illustrating an environment in which

embodiments presented herein can be applied;

Fig 2 is a sequence diagram illustrating communication between various entities of embodiments which can be applied in the environment of Fig l;

Fig 3 is a flow chart illustrating embodiments of methods in a server for facilitating assistance of a user;

Fig 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating components of any one of the server of Fig l according to one embodiment; and Fig 5 shows one example of a computer program product comprising computer readable means.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The invention will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which certain embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided by way of example so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout the description.

Fig 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating an environment in which

embodiments presented herein can be applied. There is a user 5 with a user device 2. The user device 2 can e.g. be a smartphone, tablet computer, laptop computer or other mobile communication device or a fixed device such as a desktop computer, television set top box, an alarm control panel or a dedicated assistance request device. While the user 5 can be in any location, in the example of Fig 1, the user 5 is in his/her home 9. The home 9 is optionally secured by an electronic lock 17, which can be opened e.g. using a numerical code, or a credential stored on a key fob or mobile communication device, such as a smartphone. The electronic lock could be opened directly digitally without external assistance and be kept opened for a defined or indefinite period. The user device 2 can communicate with a server 1 over an electronic communication channel 7. The server 1 can be any suitable server computer capable of performing operations in accordance with embodiments described herein. The electronic communication channel 7 can e.g. comprise any one or more communication links selected from the group of any of the IEEE 802. lix standards, a mobile network (e.g. LTE (Long Term Evolution), W- CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Ethernet, etc. Communication over the communication channel 7 can be based on Internet Protocol (IP).

While there is only one user 5 and one user device 2 shown in Fig 1, there can be any suitable number of users and user devices which can operate as described herein.

There are also a number of agents 6 with respective agent devices 3. The agents 6 are persons which can act to assist users needing assistance. For instance, the agents 6 can be security guards who also assist users when necessary. The agent device 3 is a portable communication device e.g. a smartphone, tablet computer, laptop computer or dedicated assistance support device. The agent devices 3 can communicate with the server 1 over respective electronic communication channels 7, which can e.g. comprise any one or more communication links selected from the group of Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), any of the IEEE 802. lix standards, a mobile network (e.g. LTE (Long Term Evolution), W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), Ethernet, etc. Communication over the

communication channels 7 can be based on Internet Protocol (IP).

While there are three agents 6 and agent devices 3 shown in Fig 1, there can be any suitable number of agents and agent devices which can operate as described herein.

As described in more detail below, at some point the user 5 needs assistance. For instance, the user 5 can be an elderly person that has fallen and cannot get up or the user can be in need of medical assistance for some other reason. The user then interacts with the user device 2 which sends an assistance request to the server 1. The server determines which one of the agents 6 is to be allocated 8 and sends an assistance order message to the allocated agent. The allocated agent can then transport himself /herself to the home 4 of the user 5 and provide assistance, as described in more detail below with reference to Fig 2 and Fig 3. Fig 2 is a sequence diagram illustrating communication between various entities of embodiments which can be applied in the environment of Fig 1. It is to be noted that Fig 2 is focused on the communication between entities, while Fig 3 and the corresponding text below provides more detail on the considerations performed by the server. The user device 2 sends an assistance request 20 to the server 1 when the user needs assistance, e.g. after receiving appropriate user input from the user. Optionally, the server 1 sends a medical records request 21 (comprising an identifier of the user) to a medical records database 4. Once an allocated agent has been determined, the server sends an assistance order 24

(optionally comprising at least part of the medical records) to the agent device 3 of the allocated agent. Optionally, the server 1 also sends (by itself or by ordering an external device, not shown) a credential 25 to the agent device 3. The credential 25 can be used with the electronic lock 17 to allow the allocated agent to gain access to the home of the user without requiring the user to e.g. open a door. Optionally, the agent device 3 captures an image and/ or other health data and sends the captured health data 26 to the server for storage. The other captured health data can e.g. be pulse, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, etc., captured by the allocated agent and communicated via the agent device to the server. The information can e.g. be used for diagnostic purposes or for record keeping for tracking progress of a particular medical condition of the user.

Data from an individual could be saved in a register database, with personal ID. The data, except the personal ID, is subsequently automatically transferred to a second database containing no personal ID but gender and age. Finally, the data is transferred from the second database to a third database with no connection to 1 and 2. Aggregated information of the third database could be used for AI (Artificial Intelligence) purposes to follow disease pattern in a home environment without inflicting on personal integrity. Depending on jurisdiction prior individual acceptance may still need to have been granted

Optionally, the allocated agent determines that a consultation is needed. The allocated agent then interacts with the agent device 3 which sends a consultation request 27 to the server. After receiving the consultation request 27, the server establishes 28 a real-time video connection between the agent device 3 and an expert 6.

Optionally, if the allocated agent sees that the user is in an emergency situation, the allocated agent can use the agent device to directly request ambulance assistance. Fig 3 is a flow chart illustrating embodiments of methods in a server for facilitating assistance of a user.

In a receive assistance request step 40, the server receives an assistance request message from an electronic user device of the user. Optionally, the assistance request message comprises an indication of a position of the user device. For instance, the indication can be a co-ordinate comprising a longitude and a latitude. The indication can e.g. be captured by the user device using a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver.

In a determine agent step 42, the server determines an allocated agent, from a plurality of agents. The allocated agent is to provide assistance for the user. Optionally, the allocated agent is determined based on the position of the user device and respective positions of the plurality of agents. The respective positions of the agents has then previously been received from the agent devices of the agents. In this way, an agent which is close to the user is allocated for the user request. Optionally, the allocated agent is determined based on a respective records of medical expertise of the plurality of agents. This can be matched against the medical records of the user. In this way, an agent is selected which is capable of dealing with users with particular medical conditions.

In one embodiment, a request is sent to agent devices of several potential agents, where the agent can accept or deny the request. The one of these potential agents who first accepts the request is then the allocated agent.

In an optional obtain medical records step 44, the server obtains medical record(s) of the user from a database (see 4 of Fig 2).

In an optional trigger credential transmission step 46, the server triggers the transmission of a physical access credential to the allocated agent, to enable access of the allocated agent to a locked physical space of the user. For instance, the physical access credential can be a generated numerical code which the allocated agent can use to gain access to the premises of the user, or an electronic credential which is stored in the agent device to

communicate with the electronic lock (see 17 of Fig 1) of the user. Optionally, the generated numerical code can only be used once, after which it expires, i.e. a one-time code. Alternatively, the credential can have a limited validity time to prevent the allocated agent from using the credential after the assistance episode has finished. In a transmit assistance order step 48, the server transmits an assistance order message to an electronic agent device of the allocated agent. The assistance order message comprises a location of the user, thus indicating where the agent should go. For instance, the assistance order message could comprise an address registered for the user or the position of the user device (when received in the assistance request). When step 44 is performed, the assistance order message can comprise (at least part of) the medical record(s) for the user. The medical records can provide vital history of medications or previous conditions which can be of use for the agent. In one embodiment, the server determines, based on the medical records, a procedure which should be used by the allocated agent. This procedure is then indicated to the allocated agent in the assistance order.

In a receive confirmation message step 49, the server receives a confirmation message from the electronic agent device. In this way, the server now knows that the allocated agent has accepted the task to provide assistance to the user.

In a track step 50, the server tracks a position of the electronic agent device until the electronic agent device reaches the location of the user. This can comprise providing an estimated time of arrival of the allocated agent at the user. This can be of great benefit for when communicated to the user, as well as for to the allocated agent.

In an optional receive captured data step 51, the server receives an image captured by the allocated agent or health data captured by the allocated agent, relating to a condition of the user. The image is captured by the allocated agent and can be an image of a medically relevant body part, e.g. where an injury might be located. The health data is captured by the allocated agent using an appropriate device, e.g. for pulse, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, etc., and is communicated electronically to the agent device for provision to the server. The image and health data can be used for medical purposes, either for remote diagnostics or for medical records of the user, e.g. to track progress of a medical condition of the user. In an optional store captured data step 52, the server stores the captured data (received in step 51) in a database (such as a medical records database, see 4 of Fig 2) in association with the user.

In an optional receive video communication request step 54, the server receives a request to set up a real-time video (and audio) communication channel with an expert for consultation. The request can be received from the allocated agent who would like a consultation from an expert, such as a physician or nurse.

In an optional establish video communication step 56, the server establishes the real-time video communication channel for consultation. First the server determines an available expert who is available to take the call. The expert does not need to be in any particular location, as long as the expert is available and is capable of communicating with the allocated agent, the server or the user. The communication channel is then established between the allocated agent and the allocated expert. This allows the allocated agent to receive medical consultation and guidance in how to handle the situation with the user.

In a transmit health data step 58, the server transmits the image or health data, captured by the allocated agent, to the expert. Additionally, historical medical records of the user can be provided to the expert at this stage.

Fig 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating components of any one of the server of Fig 1 according to one embodiment. A processor 60 is provided using any combination of one or more of a suitable central processing unit (CPU), multiprocessor, microcontroller, digital signal processor (DSP), application specific integrated circuit etc., capable of executing software instructions 67 stored in a memory 64, which can thus be a computer program product. The processor 60 can be configured to execute the method described with reference to Fig 3 above.

The memory 64 can be any combination of read and write memory (RAM) and read only memory (ROM). The memory 64 also comprises persistent storage, which, for example, can be any single one or combination of magnetic memory, optical memory, solid state memory or even remotely mounted memory.

A data memory 66 is also provided for reading and/ or storing data during execution of software instructions in the processor 6o. The data memory 66 can be any combination of read and write memory (RAM) and read only memory (ROM).

The server l further comprises an I/O interface 62 for communicating with other external entities. Optionally, the I/O interface 62 also includes a user interface.

Other components of the server 1 are omitted in order not to obscure the concepts presented herein.

Fig 5 shows one example of a computer program product comprising computer readable means. On this computer readable means a computer program 91 can be stored, which computer program can cause a processor to execute a method according to embodiments described herein. In this example, the computer program product is an optical disc, such as a CD (compact disc) or a DVD (digital versatile disc) or a Blu-Ray disc. As explained above, the computer program product could also be embodied in a memory of a device, such as the computer program product 64 of Fig 4.

While the computer program 91 is here schematically shown as a track on the depicted optical disk, the computer program can be stored in any way which is suitable for the computer program product, such as a removable solid state memory, e.g. a Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive. The invention has mainly been described above with reference to a few embodiments. However, as is readily appreciated by a person skilled in the art, other embodiments than the ones disclosed above are equally possible within the scope of the invention, as defined by the appended patent claims.