Sensors and cameras for elderly care, falls can be prevented
Although for years and motion sensors coexist with us, improvement and adaptation to the various fields of technology we are living in the last months a kind of silent revolution sensors in general (motion, biometrics, etc.). Now a team of researchers from the University of Missouri and Sinclair School of Nursing has published a work on a system of sensors that could be helpful in the elderly.
According to gather in the journal of the university, this team devised a system that combines cameras and sensors whose information is useful for anticipating falls, incidents that have particularly serious from certain ages due to wear body and a number of diseases. They speak of a prediction of up to three weeks, but how exactly can be calculated this prediction?
On more or less modern people to help older devices we have already seen some specific devices. A couple of years we saw in fact already makes a system designed to avoid these dreaded drop system, although in this case was not in their prediction, but prevention, in order to avoid them through a series of stimuli by vibration with a template for the foot (to, for example, change his posture).
In this case it is to use technology “not wearable”, i.e. individuals should not here take any device or sensor. This is a series of sensors and cameras that provide information movement patterns of individuals, so that this information is processed by determining these guidelines and alerting when they are irregular.
The prediction of falls is based on statistics collected after the study. According exposed, there is a 86.3% chance of falling into the following three weeks after detecting a decrease of 5 centimeters / second speed of the steps. That is, according to its analysis in many cases a decrease in speed is a sign before a fall and a shortening of the stride (50.6% probability of fall).
Do we want artificial help?
The idea is that, upon detection of a change in the usual pattern of andada of individuals, auxiliary personnel are alerted by helping these people. The tests were done at the residence TigerPlace in Columbia (United States), so that attendees received emails warning of irregular movements.
It is under study, and in this same residence no precedents of similar work as that of Rantz and Skubic that are favorable to the idea that the information from the sensors help improve the quality of life of over 65 years, but the limitation of this technology is that it is only applicable to closed environments filled with these sensors and cameras (may be partly true invasion of privacy). Nor have they specified the system costs, both sensors as necessary for data processing.
What is sought is also to increase the independence of these people, as explained Ratz, since this type of auxiliary systems focus their assistance to potential risk. He concludes in his work combining assistance with sensor technology increases the average for independence of these people (four years versus 22 months).
Then there is the will of the assisted, since it may not in all cases this assistance from machines not so well received. In fact we saw in the case of the Japanese robots designed to assist in situations other seniors who had a rejection that was not a man who helped them (although here was a direct artificial intervention, as in the case of sensors of TigerPlace).