Experiences from Assessing Daily Activities to Increase Safety andComfort of Older Persons Living Alone Paul Panek, Peter Mayer, Özge Subasi and Wolfgang L. Zagler Institute for Design and Assessment of Technology Vienna University of Technology IFA 11th Global Conference on Ageing 28 May – 1 June 2012, Prague, Czech Republic
Content Introduction and Aim Approach Results from Fieldtrials Conclusion
Introduction & Aim Many research papers available about AAL systems and activity monitoring – But unclear, to what extent such systems can be applied in real life Therefore - Aim of eHome project: – Demonstration of practical usefulness – In daily use – Basic system with ZigBee based sensors was developed
Approach Daily life follows certain schedules – Given by routine – Following social and biological rhythms eHome monitors continuously – Assessing activities in fixed time slices (e.g. 1 hour) – Triggering supportive or emergency actions if significant deviations – Keeps private data protected inside the user’s home Objective of eHome: Improving safety and comfort of older persons living alone at home
Approach eHome system uses – Sensors connected via ZigBee – Storing data in a database – Data being processed in a small central unit – Situated at user’s home ( privacy of data) – Connected to the Internet.
Approach Event triggered expert system can raise alerts based on: – Time of activities (e.g. rising from bed compared to daily history) – Duration of selected activities (e.g. nightly leaving of bed) – Frequency of activities (e.g. reduction in cooking, hygiene)
Approach Assumption of eHome is: – Even by applying a rather coarse monitoring by a small set of sensors a sufficient insight into the user’s activity can be reached – Even if “better” and “more” sensors would be possible this was avoided in order to Increase perspective for economic exploitation Improve the to-be-expected user acceptance
Field Trials Extensive evaluation with – 5 research prototype systems – installed in 11 homes of older persons – over a total time of 18 months
Field Trials ZigBee Sensors for – Door / window – Acceleration & floor vibration (e.g. for fall detection) – Temperature – Cooking plate temp. (infrared) – Movement (passive infrared) – Light
Impressions from Field Trials Local User Interface – Touch-Screen Terminal without typical PC look – Fits to furniture – Easy to use – Video telephone – Smart-Home Controls – Emergency Call – Internet Browser
Results System was able to classify “usual behaviour” over time. This can be used in different ways: – Unusual sudden changes (e.g. not leaving bed in the morning) triggering alarm – mid-term and long-term trends present changes to care persons to let them judge about the meaning and severity of recognised changes.
Results The system is able to learn / adapt over time its threshold parameters Remark: Even right from the beginning the system is able to work with initial values important for practical use! By adapting over time it will improve performance
Conclusion Despite needs for improvement there is evidence that the system actually is considered by users and experts to have the potential to bring significant benefits in supporting older persons and carers. eHome prototype currently is used in LLM (CIP) and KSERA (FP7) project Costs for low quantities of basic eHome system with 3 multi-sensor boxes are 1,500 Eur.
AcknowledgementsSupported by: Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (FIT-IT contract number 815195).Consortium: TU Vienna, Ceit Raltec, Kapsch Carriercom and Treventus Mechatronics. For questions: email@example.com Web site: www.aat.tuwien.ac.at/ehome/