Video-game Device with Goal of Preventing Patient Falls

Infrared motion-capture technology used in video games is making its way to hospital rooms, where researchers hope to learn new ways to prevent falls among hospital patients. The device looks like a thin black box. The system works by sending a grid pattern of infrared light, invisible to the human eye, into a room, and then examining how objects and persons in the room distort the pattern. The machine analyzes these distortions to make a 3-D map, showing a patient, her bed and tray table, and everything else in the room. If the system detects a person on the floor, it automatically reviews the preceding events as the person moved to the floor, and can detect if that represents a fall.

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