Connected Health: Open source IoT patient monitor

This project describes the use of Raspberry Pi as an IoT connected vital signs monitor. The HealthyPi HAT for Raspberry Pi used.

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Basic vital sign monitors are seldom low-cost and reliable at the same time, which limits their use usually to most medical facilities in developed countries. Also, these have limited connectivity, portability and interoperability with other platforms, services and analytics software.

We developed the HealthyPi HAT for the Raspberry Pi as a way of opening up the healthcare and open source medical to anyone. The HealthyPi is made of the same "medical-grade" components found in regular vital sign monitors, for a fraction of the cost of such system. This is our way of democratizing medical hardware to develop new areas of research. Our objective when we began developing the HealthyPi was to make a simple vital sign monitoring system which is simple, affordable, open-source (important !) and accessible.

HealthyPi available on Crowd Supply:<


Why would you want to put vital sign and health data on the cloud? The simple answer is for the sake of analytics and collecting large amounts of data.

  • Early warning systems:

    Prevention is better than cure. This is best applied for the human health. By collecting data for "high-risk" patients inside or outside a healthcare facility (by outside we mean home-based healthcare), eventualities can be prevented. An Early Warning Score (EWS) is a way of assessing the health of a patient to some extent. This is possible by analyzing a large amount of historical data and use machine learning to "learn" from the data for predictive analysis.
  • Telemedicine:

    Telemedicine means a lot of things, but the most common interpretation is the diagnosis of patient health from a healthcare professional in a remote location. This especially is true of developing countries where healthcare is limited only to big cities and towns and inaccessible to remote areas.

Besides these, there are numerous other applications where cloud-based systems could be beneficial, ranging from automated analysis of huge data sets (such as Holter recording).

In these situations, it would be easier to move all the heavy lift computation to the cloud instead of performing everything on the node (which is the whole point of IoT).

How and What?

The Raspberry Pi 3 is an interesting device for such an application because it is:

  • It is an actual computer that is easy-to-use and easy to run any pre-processing and decision making that may be required on the side of the data source.
  • Affordable, at approximately $30 all over the world, it is definitely one of the most widely accepted, affordable computers.
  • Accessible: The Raspberry Pi 3 is the most widely used single board computer with a wide variety of support available. You can get a Raspberry Pi easily from any corner of the globe.

Given all these factors, the Raspberry Pi was the most obvious choice for developing our platform upon. This also fitted in with our objective of making something that is simple, affordable and accessible

The most important part of the whole development is that HealthyPi is completely open-source, both Hardware and Software alike. All our code and hardware schematics are available on our Github repo (

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  • 1
    Step 1

    Plug in the HealthyPi HAT to the Raspberry Pi

    The HealthyPi is an add-on "HAT" board for the Raspberry Pi 3. It could also possibly be used with any other HAT compatible Raspberry Pi board, including a Raspberry Pi Zero. Connect the HealthyPi HAT to the main Raspberry Pi just snapping it on to the 40-pin header on the Pi.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Optionally, the Raspberry Pi official touchscreen can be used to make a self-contained unit without the need for an external monitor or a keyboard. You will still need a keyboard for installation of the HealthyPi software on the Raspberry Pi. Here, we have used the SmartiPi Touch case for the touchscreen. This provides a nice way to mount both the Raspberry Pi as well as the touchscreen is a very functional, great looking enclosure. For more information about how to setup the SmartPi Touch, check out this video.

    Once this is is setup, the HealthyPi board can then snap onto the Raspberry Pi's exposed 40-pin header directly. The final setup should look something like the one shown below.

  • 3
    Step 3

    Install the HealthyPi software

    HealthyPi includes a Processing-based GUI for plotting the signals in real-time as well as acting as an MQTT gateway to take this data to the internet (of things). More steps about how to install and get started with the HealthyPi can be found on our Github Site (

    (This Github repo is still getting constantly updated, so watch out for new changes).

    Once this has been setup properly, the GUI should now start receiving the data from the HAT and plotting it in real-time.

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