Health

Researchers build ‘smart home’ system to monitor elderly people



Researchers have built a functional indoor monitoring system using pre-existing sensors to identify unusual events, according to a proof-of-concept study published year JMIR.

The study followed 12 adults with an average age of 89 in a Swedish city using motion sensors, wall plugs and smart water meters. Three participants dropped out of school due to unforeseen life circumstances. Before the study began, the researchers interviewed older adults and their loved ones about their normal habits, with a particular focus on mealtimes.

Overall, the monitoring system observed about a thousand meals and bathroom activities from July to August 2020. It also sent text message notifications to people’s family members. join when they have an ordinary day and when an unusual event occurs.

The monitoring system showed that more than 75% of the observed meal activities were normal, while the actual rate was 93%. The written supervision and support received positive responses from five of the nine family members of the participants, with an average of four on a satisfaction scale of one to five.

“The results support the use of data from pre-existing sensors and IoT devices (installed in real homes) and improve healthcare services by providing feedback to caregivers in near real-time. This makes it possible for older people to live independently in their homes for longer periods of time,” the study’s authors wrote.

WHY IT IMPORTANT

America population is agingput increased stress about loved ones and carers who are working to support them. Meanwhile, most older people want to stay in their homes when they get older. An AARP survey showed that 77% of adults aged 50 and over wanted to age.

However, 34% of the adults polled said they needed home improvements so they or a loved one could stay there safely. Both emergency response systems and smart home devices are some of the top changes that homeowners say they need.

TREND TO BIGGER

Premium care is a growing focus of digital health companies. Late last year, AI-powered fall detection startup SafelyYou scored 30 million dollars in Series B funding a few months after it closed its $19.5 Series A round.

Papa, who pairs seniors and others in vulnerable populations with assistants to help with basic needs like shopping and light housework, earned 150 million dollars in November of last year.

Meanwhile, giants like Amazon and Best Buy are also looking for space. Amazon’s Alexa Together Service use its Alexa voice assistant to monitor the elderly and notify family members or emergency services if necessary.

Last year, Best Buy Get home care and current Health remote monitoring platformin addition to its premium services such as Vibrant emergency response brand.



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