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Inform Health Soc Care. 2010 Sep-Dec;35(3-4):157-76. doi: 10.3109/17538157.2010.528637.

Monitoring systems for the support of home care.

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  • 1OFFIS-Institute for Information Technology, Escherweg 2, Oldenburg, Germany. hein@offis.de


In this article, the design of a system for the ambient, unobtrusive and automatic monitoring of Activities of Daily Living (ADL) is described. In the context of the growing imbalance between (potentially young) caregivers and (most often older) people receiving care, technical monitoring systems may help to organise care more efficiently and to identify degrading abilities very early to trigger preventive measures. To improve the acceptance of the system described in this article, the selection process of the sensors to be integrated into the flat or to be worn by the older people has been steered by the results of focus group interviews with older people, their relatives and professional caregivers. The interviews revealed that these people would in general accept such systems, but security, mobility and communication aspects have to be clearly and appropriately addressed. In an experimental study the recognition rate of the activity 'preparation and intake of food or beverages' has been measured with two age groups (6 subjects, age between 25 and 40/mean 30 years and 5 subjects, age between 72 and 84/mean 75.3 years). The food preparation was detected with a sensitivity of 74.7% and a specificity of 84.2% using a vision sensor.

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