Students Develop IoT Wheelchair, Walker Using ThingWorx

November 23, 2015

A new report out today from Research and Markets indicates that the IoT healthcare market is expected to grow to $163 billion by 2020, up from an estimated $32 billion in 2015. That rapid growth will be fueled by “the rising demand for improved healthcare, reduced cost of care, and evolution of high speed networking technologies,” according to the report summary. Additionally, “the increasing number of connected medical devices and the proliferation of smartphones have contributed significantly to the rise of IoT.”

This trend of connected medical devices is highlighted in a new ThingWorx case study featuring the IoT wheelchair and the IoT walker, developed using ThingWorx by students at Hochschule Furtwangen University (HFU) in Germany. Both devices are used for remote patient monitoring for people who are discharged to their home, as well as those in hospitals, nursing homes, or other medical facilities.

The IoT wheelchair and the IoT walker include a Raspberry Pi® microprocessor that connects to the ThingWorx IoT platform via the cloud. The IoT wheelchair or IoT walker transmits patient information to a ThingWorx dashboard designed to monitor various parameters and develop alarms specific to each patient. Students working on the project can monitor patient stats like pulse rate and oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and body temperature, among other factors.

Achim Bumüller, Senior Assistant in the Mechanical and Medical Engineering Department at HFU, notes that this project combines experience in a multitude of IoT areas as well as project management and business acumen. “The project so far has been very beneficial to the students at HFU, especially because it spans from various disciplines including mechanical and electrical engineering, micromedicine, informatics and others as well as graduate and undergraduate levels,” states Bumüller.

Download the full case study to learn more about how students at HFU are using ThingWorx to develop potentially life-saving IoT medical devices.

To learn more about the PTC IoT Academic Program and to gain access to ThingWorx in the classroom, visit