GSM Scale

This project has stalled and isn’t likely to go anywhere, sadly. I’m leaving the page up for historic reasons. This project to build a GSM-enabled scale suitable for medical research and treatment is part of my collaboration with Alex Barclay and Dr. Kevin Hall of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH. The immediate goal is to allow reliable remote collection of nutrition study subjects’ weights, avoiding the costly requirement of having study staff weigh subjects any time a reading must be made.

Another application of this technology include the outpatient treatment of eating disorders; in some of these cases the patients may not be allowed to know their own weight as part of the treatment, but their weight must still be closely monitored by medical personnel. A remote scale that transmits (but does not display) the patient’s weight provides part of the solution to this challenge.

In its current state, the client prototype uses a HOM 349KLX scale that communicates over a serial connection with an Arduino equipped with a GSM module. Readings are stored locally on an SD card and transmitted to the server using a RESTlike protocol over SMS. The server uses the Twilio SMS gateway to communicate with the scale.



Source code repository


The plan is to release this as open source, probably under a BSD-style license, but we haven’t gotten the details hammered out just yet.