We recently brought you word of one of the many technological developments that aim to make road travel safer than it’s ever been. But it should be noted that safety systems continue to progress in all facets of our daily life. That includes elder safety.
A new report out of Oklahoma puts a spotlight on the increased usage of devices that can monitor an elderly individual’s living environment for signs of an illness or potential injury. Things like grab bars and anti-slipping surfaces are fairly commonplace at the moment, but companies and researchers are attempting to use technology to bolster safety even further.
Take the University of Missouri for example. It’s there that researchers have begun to test an apartment-wide sensor system that utilizes the Microsoft Kinect device typically found on the Xbox 360. With this technology, they are able to deduce changes in activity that could be indicative of a problem.
For instance, a mattress monitor can gauge pulse rates and breathing to determine if there’s a change in sleep patterns. If there is, a heart condition could be materializing, and if a person is using the bathroom constantly, the system could point to the development of a UTI. And the aforementioned Kinect set up in the apartment can deduce whether walking patterns are changing and thus could lead to a slip and fall.