Minnesota Public Radio, in one of its stories about the upcoming White House Conference on Aging, is reporting about a device called Quiet Care, a motion detector designed to monitor the geriatric population. Living Independently Group, Inc., the manufacturer headquartered in New York City, explains the workings of the system:
QuietCare functions as a 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week early detection and early warning system that lets caregivers and family members know that a loved one is safe. It recognizes emerging problems before they become emergencies.
The system utilizes small, unobtrusive, strategically-placed wireless sensors to monitor the senior in their own home. It is virtually invisible. No video camera or audio intrudes on the seniors’ lives.
— Small, wireless motion sensors are strategically placed in key areas, including the senior’s bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and meal prep and/or medication areas.
— Each sensor transmits information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week about the senior’s daily living activities to a book-sized base station.
— The base station gathers this information and regularly transmits it to QuietCare’s computers, using existing telephone lines.
— Changes in the senior’s activities are analyzed so caregivers can be alerted to problems by call center professionals, or via e-mail, cell phone, text message or pager, or by checking a password-protected web site.
What makes QuietCare unique is that it “learns” each individual’s normal behavioral patterns and notes any significant changes from them. The system then transmits this information to caregivers through a completely individualized password protected website, or if the user prefers via pager or a telephone call.
And because it doesn’t require the elderly person to wear anything or push anything, it can summon help even when they can’t.