Using Sensor Networks To Track Seniors In Their Homes

Robot home care may be coming eventually, but right now, scientists are working on a more affordable way to use technology to help keep elders independent.

What's the Latest Development?

Scientists at the University of Adelaide are combining sensor technology and AI software to create a network that can help individual objects track what a senior is doing in their home, determine whether their routine has been interrupted, and alert the appropriate people for assistance if needed. The research, which is being conducted along with the University of Washington, is funded by the Australian government. Tests will be conducted in a lab setting and then in hospitals using elderly patients.

What's the Big Idea?

The goal of the sensor network is to have something in the home that's as simple and unobtrusive as possible, two things that can't always be said for video surveillance and proposed in-home robot care. Also, seniors won't need to turn anything on or off, or wear any kind of alert device. Chief investigator Michael Sheng says, "Our work will be among the first few projects in the world conducting large-scale common-sense reasoning in automatic human activity recognition." Even better, it could serve as a practical and secure implementation of the "Internet of Things" concept currently gaining ground across various disciplines.

Photo Credit:

Related Articles
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less