DeSearch is a privacy-aware sensor-based network to locate missing people with increased need for care and has been developed within the iCare project. The aim of DeSearch is to quicker locate missing people and inform previously defined contacts (e.g. family members or other caregivers). This network will support people with increased need for care by allowing them to longer remain in their familiar environment or in a open institution. In contrast to a permanent surveillance with GPS trackers, the detection with DeSearch will only be activated in cases of emergency, and therefore avoids permanent tracking of persons. A Bluetooth sensor, which fits into clothing artifacts like buttons or lining, can be activated upon request to find a missing person.
To counterbalance the shorter range of Bluetooth sensors, DeSearch receiving boxes can be placed in public places like bus or train stations or be installed in vehicle fleets (e.g. taxis or buses).
An even wider range could be provided with the help of involved citizens, who install an app on their mobile phones, converting them into mobile receiving stations. With this app, people with increased need for help can be located if they are within range and a search request has been activated.
DeSearch is currently being evaluated within the iCare research project and we will see, if citizens are willing to contribute to provide a wider range to the DeSearch network by providing their private infrastructure.