Statement of problem
As the number of aged and elderly people are living on their own, the need for remote monitoring becomes important. This is to look out for critical issues such as health problems or falls. As the percentage of population requiring this type of care increases, the medical care costs will rise prohibitively.
Technology provides an opportunity to effective and economically address this problem without require a large man-power base. Remote monitoring systems can automatically watch for:-
1. Vital signs - heart rate, temperature
2. Activity and movement, or the lack thereof (incl. falls)
3. Fall sensing through seismic sensing
4. Movement - using PIR
5. Body temperature - FLIR
6. Camera - activity analysis
7. Acoustic - audible calls for help
The sensors report back to a main home-based unit which the communicates using a variety of transport options to a central control. It can report varying levels of alerts and the control can provide a variety of responses from phone calls, text messages, to actually dispatching suitable personnel. The reporting configuration is flexible and scalable.
Cost and effectiveness are the two main challenges. Some sensors used in active sensing require them to be worn and maintained (batteries changed or charged) and may prove to be inconvenient for some folk to wear. Also, some of the systems can cost quite a lot but provide limited coverage.
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