Smart Home Healthcare Vehicle Routing Problem Considering Patient’s Condition and Quality of Service
The demand on home healthcare services has increased dramatically, due to the escalating expenses of the typical healthcare services and the frequent diagnosis of chronic diseases patients. This research aims at solving a home healthcare vehicle routing problem model that considers the three pillars of sustainability, to be executed in smart cities. More specifically, our approach intends on taking advantage of the technology available in smart cities, by placing body sensors on patients to keep updating their condition and prioritizing critical conditions in service. In addition to the dynamism and uncertainty caused by the variation in patient's condition, our approach extends the reality of the model by considering parameters and variables which enhance its practicability, such as assuming different patient’s importance (priority) levels. Furthermore, to ensure a sustainable flow of business, the model considers electric vehicles which will result in saving fuel costs and preserving the environment from greenhouse gases. Also, the social aspect was tackled by maximizing patient’s and employee’s satisfaction through improving quality of service and managing workload respectively. The model was solved using a metaheuristic algorithm approach, via Ant Colony Optimization algorithm along with Non-dominated Sorting technique due to the ability of such combination to work out with dynamic models with uncertainties and multi-objectives. Sensitivity analyses showed the benefits of using heart rate sensor in the developed model, especially in improving the quality of service. In addition to the arising in quality costs when increasing the importance levels of patients. The implementation of this model in the healthcare sector comes with a great advantage for service providers, due to the continuous monitoring of patient’s status, as well as, the classification of patient’s importance levels (based on medical status); thus, ensuring healthy satisfied patients.