Written by Mike Martin
COLUMBIA, 8/16/12 (Beat Byte) -- A high-tech monitoring system developed by Mizzou researchers that helps elderly persons live independently is on its way from Tiger Place assisted living center in Columbia to Cedar Falls, Iowa.
With a National Science Foundation grant, Marjorie Skubic, a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the MU College of Engineering, and Marilyn Rantz, a Curator's Professor of Nursing in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing are using fiber networking so that health care providers in Missouri can remotely monitor elderly residents in Iowa.
"Using what we're already doing at TigerPlace and deploying it at the facility in Cedar Falls will allow us to further test the concept of remote health care," Rantz said. "Monitoring individuals with in-home sensors allows us to unobtrusively monitor their health changes based on their individual activity patterns and baseline health conditions."
Covered by the media for several years, the in-home monitoring system uses proactive, rather than reactive, monitoring, Rantz explained. Automated data alerts health providers when patients need assistance; measures residents' movements in the home; and integrates hydraulic bed sensors that monitor pulse and respiration.
"We're using high-speed networks to solve real-world problems," Skubic said. "Implementing the health alert system in Cedar Falls will tell us how the approach we use at TigerPlace compares to other settings. It will be an important step toward facilitating independent housing, which is where most seniors want to be."