Background. Individuals with topographical disorientation have difficulty navigating through indoor environments. Recent literature has suggested that ambient intelligence technologies may provide patients with navigational assistance through auditory or graphical instructions delivered via embedded devices. Method. We describe an automatic routing engine for such an ambient intelligence system. The method routes patients with topographical disorientation through indoor environments by repeatedly computing the route of minimal cost from the current location of the patient to a specified destination. The cost of a given path not only reflects the physical distance between end points, but also incorporates individual patient abilities, the presence of mobility-impeding physical barriers within a building and the dynamic nature of the indoor environment. We demonstrate the method by routing simulated patients with either topographical disorientation or physical disabilities. Additionally, we exemplify the ability to route a patient from source to destination while taking into account changes to the building interior. Results. When compared to a random walk, the proposed routing scheme offers potential cost-savings even when the patient follows only a subset of instructions. Conclusion. The routing method presented reduces the navigational effort for patients with topographical disorientation in indoor environments, accounting for physical abilities of the patient, environmental barriers and dynamic building changes. The routing algorithm and database proposed could be integrated into wearable and mobile platforms within the context of an ambient intelligence solution. © 2007 Torres-Solis and Chau; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Torres-Solis, J., & Chau, T. (2007). A flexible routing scheme for patients with topographical disorientation. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-0003-4-44