EIT Digital to give lone and remote workers digital lifeline

Brussels – 4th May, 2017 – EIT Digital has developed a protective monitoring application to help to improve the safety of lone and remote workers, such as fire, rescue, security, community or social workers. The application monitors location and vital signs of people working in potentially hostile environments in real-time and is being brought to market by EIT Digital partner Bittium*.

The work was carried out to meet the need of growing market demands for solutions to improve the safety of lone workers. In some countries, such systems are required also by unions or legislation. Furthermore, many current lone worker solutions are user driven requiring the user to interact with the system which can sometimes frustrate the end-user and may leave room for human error.

Juha Eskelin, the EIT Digital Task leader and Senior Manager at Bittium said:

“Our task, which we called “Vertical Application in Protective Monitoring”, focused on processing data from the wearable sensor passively, i.e. without any user interaction, and to be able to produce actionable recommendations or enable sensors based on location. Recommendations and alerts can be triggered based on a number of variables including location, acceleration, temperature or devices coming on or going off-line.

“We wanted to look this from the perspective of a passive application – let the application automate the actions on behalf of the user and thus make the life of, for example, a community care worker a bit easier. Also, as a side effect we would expect productivity to increase as well, as through automation the worker can meet more patients during a given day.”

The concepts, protocols and data formats used in the protective monitoring application were developed through an EIT Digital High Impact Initiative known as Advanced Connectivity Platform for Vertical Segments (ACTIVE). Its focus is to develop an advanced connectivity Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform adoptable in various vertical segments. The platform will deliver, among other things, services for secure management, interaction and communication on IoT platforms.

Mr Eskelin continued:

“A protective monitoring application fits very well with the ACTIVE initiative. If you try to decapsulate the actual vertical application, many of the IoT applications look very similar: sending sensor data, to or via a gateway to be processed either at the edge or at the cloud. Indeed, that is the idea of ACTIVE as well: to remove the need to build each and every IoT application from scratch and to use the platform to reduce the time to market for new IoT applications. The application has verified that ACTIVE can indeed serve verticals regardless of the industry segment.”

To produce the new application EIT Digital partners Finnish Bittium and Engineering from Italy worked together to understand the concepts and commonalities in Body Area Networks (BAN), Personal Area Networks (PAN) and wearable integration.The task also used the deliverables of an another EIT Digital Innovation Activity, Fit to Perform, as a reference for professional/health oriented wearable platforms.

In addition, EIT Digital partners Ericsson (Finland) and Finnish Tampere University of Technology have contributed to extending the device management to wearable devices and to facilitate semantic interoperability of sensor data across different vendors’ devices.

Mr Eskelin said:

“The work on vertical application in protective monitoring will certainly continue. Thanks to ACTIVE and collaboration with the other partners, it is now faster and easier to integrate the application with other systems. We will look into supporting new use cases and making certain functionalities more flexible and configurable as well as incorporating feedback and ideas from customers and developers.”


EIT Digital Innovation Activities deliver new products or services, create startups and spinoffs to commercialise outputs from projects, and encourage the transfer of technologies for market entry.

Active is one of the 13 Innovation Activities of the Digital Infrastructure Action Line of EIT Digital for 2017. The Digital Infrastructure Action Line focuses on enabling digital transformation by providing secure, robust, responsive, and intelligent communications and computation facilities for the markets.