The theme Autonomous monitoring of physiological and behavioural parameters at home focuses on three related topics:
- monitoring functioning and fall risk in frail (elderly) people;
- monitoring functioning of people with (early stage) dementia;
- monitoring functional status of people with chronic diseases such as COPD, arthrosis, etc.
The general idea is to develop intelligent systems that measure and interpret physiological and behavioural parameters in a non-obtrusive way (ambient technology), to detect hazardous or unsafe situations and to provide adequate feedback for the patient and caregivers. These systems should be able to communicate with the electronic patient records held by the professional caregivers.
Examples of application
This technology makes it possible to support people with the (potential) consequences of chronic diseases and/or long term disabilities in their home environment, and to help them prevent functional deterioration and decreased participation, without additional manpower, thereby enabling them to live independently longer and encouraging self management. The outcome variables of particular interest are functional status (including falls and fall risk), independency, care use and psychosocial functioning.
The projected medium-term (5 years) results of this theme are applications of body area network technology seamlessly integrated with environmental, context sensor systems (wireless sensor networks) which will enable unobtrusive monitoring and decision making in the home environment. These applications will have been evaluated in specific patient groups (e.g. COPD, heart failure and dementia) and provide unobtrusive monitoring and early warning for informal and formal caregivers.
In ten years, these systems will probably be fully integrated in the healthcare system and be used on a wide scale, with automated data mining enabling macro trend analyses and the establishment of evidence.