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FrontVL

FrontVL

FRONT-VL will focus on smart and efficient technical solutions to increase possibilities for the elderly to live at home without being dependent on children or in-home care.

Toilet

NEWS Posted on Sun, March 24, 2019 10:41:10

Getting a health check up on your toilet, this is the propositions from the company “Heart Health Intelligence” (hearthealthintelligence.com), a start venture based in the Rochester Institute of Technology.

This team of Rochester Institute of Technology researchers has engineered a toilet seat that detects a number of vital measures, including “electrical and mechanical activity of the heart”, meaning that it can monitor heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygenation levels, and the patient’s weight. According to the researchers it can measure the stroke volume, a measure of the amount of blood pumped out of the heart at every beat.
The primary aim of this toilet seat, is to monitor the health of persons with congestive heart failure, a group of people with high level of relapse into serious health problems and readmissions into hospital care. The toilet seat would provide warning signals about the health status, and give opportunity to changes in advices and prescription of medicine that might prevent a deterioration of the heart problems.

Link https://www.rit.edu/news/toilet-seat-detects-congestive-heart-failure-getting-ready-begin-commercialization

This solutions seems as very powerful device for measuring health in general, and would probably come in as good tool for many chronic health conditions. This general health check method do point to a very important aspect on health advices and following doctors order. There is a problem of adherence to what is good advice, and the toilet monitor would be something that would something hard to miss out of using. To make it easy to work for a personal good health is important, however there is no report on any every day end user interface, that could provide direct advices. The price tag of 1500 USD also point towards a more professional care area of application.



Fall Prevention

NEWS Posted on Wed, March 06, 2019 00:47:10

Fall prevention is a central
question for the health and life quality of elderly. There are technical approaches
for mitigating the risks of elderly falling, however there seems to be problem connected
to motivation and knowledge about fall risks and fall prevention. A study on
care personnel at a residential aged care (RAC) center about their understanding about
fall prevention, indicates problems. The results show that only 26.5% of care staff know about the
high fall risks of the residents. Also, the knowledge about risk factors was
limited, for example only 18 % connected medication to fall risk (Francis‐Coad,
2019).

Read the abstract here.

Sentiments among
elderly with fall risk is not encouraging either. Many do abstain from taking
part in fall prevention programs if they see them as unnecessary, not relevant
for them or not appropriate (Yardley, 2006). The numbers of adherence to fall
prevention methods are low, averaging about 50 % (Nyman and Victor, 2012), down
to 10% (Dickinson et al., 2011). Even people who have had fall accidents with
hospital visits as result, hesitates to engage into fall prevention.

Technology is good, but creating understanding and motivation is the crucial factor. The Front-VL project works with solutions that provides self-understanding about risk behaviour and connects this to suggestion for actions that makes everyday safer. The aim is to provide feedback between self insights, changes of life-style and home environment and decrease in risk behaviour.

Francis‐Coad J,
Hang J‐A, Etherton‐Beer C, Ellis A, Hill
A‐M. Evaluation of care staff knowledge,
confidence, motivation and opportunity for preventing falls in residential aged
care settings: A cross‐sectional survey. Int J Older People Nurs.
2019;e12224.

Yardley L,
Donovan-Hall M, Francis K, Todd C. (2006) Older people’s views of advice about
falls prevention: A qualitative study. Health Education
and Research; 21: 508–517.

Dickinson, A., Machen,
I., Horton, K., Jain, D., Maddex, T. and Cove, J. (2011), “Fall prevention in
the community: what older people say they need”, British Journal of Community
Nursing, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 174-80.



Smart meters and mental health

NEWS Posted on Mon, February 04, 2019 18:09:02

Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University has developed methods for how to use information from energy use, based on household smart meter devices, to understand paterns of behaviour among elders. By using AI algoritms for interpretations of the information check on elderly people staying at home, to determine if there are changes in their behaviours. The use of different types of home appliances, kettles etc., gives rise to different patterns of energy use, and by extension could be used to determine if life style changes are emerging.


Link to article at Liverpool John Hopkins Uni.

The use of existing information, as a smart meter could be coming to every ones home soon, makes things easy. As this would be information that would come most homes, would give rise to very large data sets, and research would have a substantiell material to work with, to evaluate this approach. Feeding back information both to health care systems and the individual could give very practical information for how care is given and how to the individual monitor and change behaviour. However the feedback on the personal level would require further systems that lets the individual interact with the data. This fits very well into to the FRONT-VL approach of sensor integration and integration of information for end users.

More reading

As usual this kind of application turns in to privacy vs. personal benefit discussion. Control over personal information always limits the reach of such systems, and in the case of mental health, good decision making over data use and deteriorating conditions might be at odds.



Mental Health

NEWS Posted on Sun, January 27, 2019 23:54:04

The company BrainCo has been testing their headband for tracking brain activity in chines schools. The idea is to give the teachers a view into the actual activity of the students during classes. Other say that it is mostly parents that want more control in school and pointing to privacy issues. Maybe the band can detect mental activity, but how to know what the student concentrate on? Might be anything. However, as personal assistance, elderly could use this tool to keep track on their abilities to keep focus and better understand their cognitive development.


Link to video



Wifi Motion and Emotion Detection

NEWS Posted on Sat, January 26, 2019 14:42:07

Is it possible to use a normal Wifi system to detect human motion, and not only that to do it through walls? Research at MIT suggest that this is possible. The research has been ongoing, with early reports from 2013. Radio WiFi signals bounce off a person’s body and translate it into the movement, using AI/neural networks to interpret the signals. Main focus is on healthcare applications, particularly for
neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Multiple
Sclerosis.

Link to video

The same research team are also trying to use Wifi signals to read the emotional state of people. The wifi signal is used to detect the heart rate and the breathing patterns of the person, and based on this information a emotional state is determined.


Link to video

Link to article



Service Robots

NEWS Posted on Fri, January 04, 2019 16:33:57


Having a robot servant at home might a great way of living easy at home.
Wonder if it can keep on its feet, and not fall over. Go, fetch some
coffee! What makes it more interesting is that the robot is under
control of a disable person, who can control the robot from a sick bed.
Operator earns 9 dollar/hour at this coffee house.

Link to video

Read more about this Soranews24

However, robots can be annoying, the first robot served hotel “Henn na”, (strange) has fired half of their robots, because they have been dislike by customer.


Link to video