Europe faces a social change, which is brought about by the unprecedented demographic change: the share of elderly people to the entire population is steadily growing, while the share of the youngest, especially the working population is shrinking. Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), as a specific user-oriented type of "Ambient Intelligence", may greatly help in this situation.
AAL aims to prolong the time people can live in a decent more independent way by increasing their autonomy and self-confidence, by allowing them to discharge normal everyday activities, by improved monitoring and care of the elderly or ill person, by enhancing their security while ultimately saving resources. The main objective is to develop a wearable light device able to measure specific vital signs of the elder or ill person, to detect falls and to communicate autonomously in real time with his/her caregiver in case of an emergency, wherever they are. The emergency information can be directed to the personal caretaker and/or the 112 Emergency Service.
The emergency information will provide the geographic position and health information of the elder in a sensible way for the caretaker or emergency service. The incorporation of largely non-intrusive new sensors for fall detection and highly sensitive positioning is expected to address many of the elderly concerns about adopting technology. The monitoring device for the caretaker can range from a mobile phone and/or a more complex system so that an integrated caretaking service can be created to look after groups of elders.
In this case, when monitoring the elder at home, the system will be complemented with other devices such as cameras in a way that personal services can be established for the elder. The system will be tested in a real usability site arranged through a social programme for the elderly, and will obtain reliable assessment by gathering real end user's feedback.
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
08800 Vilanova I La Geltru
IP6 9QD Ipswich
PL4 8AA Plymouth