Sensor system aims to keep elderly at home

Share this article:

Researchers believe they can delay or eliminate assisted living or nursing home care for many elderly individuals through a home sensor network. University of Missouri faculty members Marjorie Skubic, Ph.D., and Marilyn Rantz, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, have developed a system that provides home monitoring.

Along with Rantz, a  professor in the university's Sinclair School of Nursing, the pair have developed the network, which monitors changes in activity patterns and baseline health conditions.

The equipment includes motion detectors based on video gaming technology that monitors gait. A new hydraulic bed sensor measures an individual's pulse, respiration and restlessness during sleep.

"We're monitoring people with lots of different ailments, such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension and cardiac problems," said Skubic, an electrical and computer engineering professor.

"Our goal is to keep people in their private homes for as long as possible," Skubic said. "The idea is to detect functional decline or early signs of illness, so we can identify problems when they are very small and proactively address them before they become catastrophic."

The researchers see commercialization of the equipment as the next step. Testing is underway at TigerPlace, a Columbia, MO, eldercare facility operated by Americare. Skubic and Rantz have received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to expand their research to Western Home Communities, in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The work is supported by a White House initiative, US Ignite, and NSF, the project's lead federal agency.


Share this article:

More in News

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause disastrous care transitions, expert warns

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause ...

What may appear to be minor administrative problems in a nursing home - a fax machine locked away at night or no one designated to copy paperwork - can cause ...

Long-term care facilities approach 80% worker flu vaccination rate after handing power ...

Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).

RACs were 'most improved' healthcare auditors for getting back money in 2013, ...

Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.