Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Washington have established a multidisciplinary team comprised of researchers in computer science and engineering, nursing, and medical informatics dedicated to developing and evaluating technology to keep older adults functioning at higher levels and living independently. We have leveraged ongoing research at a unique local eldercare facility (TigerPlace) to study vision-based recognition methods for multi-person environments designed to capture continuous and automated assessments of older adults’ physical function.
We propose a carpet with pressure sensors distributed throughout the floor with an average of 10 sensors per square foot sheet; these will be incorporated onto flooring material such as carpeting, flexible tiles or linoleum. We will be able to “see” the person’s footsteps, assess their gait, and identify their location.
The dream of older Americans is to remain as active and independent as possible for as long as possible. They want to age in place, not in institutions like nursing homes. Recently, enabling technology in the form of low cost sensors, computers, and communications systems has become available, which with supportive health care services makes the dream of aging in place a reality.