Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smart home able to detect symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases

Date:
March 21, 2014
Source:
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Summary:
The world population is rapidly aging, which means the number of disabled and dependent people is increasing since these rates increase with age, particularly after the age of 80. Accordingly, researchers have designed a system of sensors which, when fitted in a home, allows a person's habits and activities to be monitored and any changes in his/her habits and activities that could be a symptom of disorders relating to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's to be detected.

Tecnalia is working on initiatives based on assistive technology like a system of sensors that allows a person’s activities and habits to be monitored and any changes and activities that could be a symptom of disorders relating to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s to be detected.
Credit: Image courtesy of Elhuyar Fundazioa

The world population is rapidly aging, which means the number of disabled and dependent people is increasing since these rates increase with age, particularly after the age of 80. This is the context in which the Tecnalia centre for applied research has designed a system of sensors which when fitted in a home, allows a person's habits and activities to be monitored and any changes in his/her habits and activities that could be a symptom of disorders relating to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's to be detected.

Related Articles


Since the symptoms of diseases like Alzheimer's are linked at an early stage to changes in behaviour in the carrying out of activities in everyday life, an early diagnosis will allow the disease to be tackled right from the early stages of cognitive deterioration, thus delaying its effects and improving the patient's quality of life. To this has to be added that according to data of Imserso (Spanish Institute for the Elderly and Social Services), 70% of people over 70 prefer to go on living in their own homes rather than go into a care home.

To tackle these new challenges, Tecnalia is working on initiatives based on assistive technology like a system of sensors that allows a person's activities and habits to be monitored and any changes and activities that could be a symptom of disorders relating to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's to be detected. Through a broad network of sensors distributed throughout the home, this system is capable of detecting the presence of the user in different rooms, the opening and closing of doors, windows, drawers, the switching on and off of lights, the use of household appliances, the television, time spent in bed, on the sofa, the use of taps, etc. From the more technological point of view, one feature in the system is the use of sound sensors to pick up, for example, the ringing of the phone or the doorbell.

The system records, in real time, the information from the sensors and identifies the activity that the person is doing, like preparing a meal, watching the TV while sitting on the sofa or having a shower. This monitoring allows the person's habits or routines to be learnt in order to subsequently be able to spot any changes in them which could point to memory problems or disorders, disorientation in time and space, giving up activity, or becoming isolated; in many cases these may be symptoms of a neurodegenerative disease, and that way a relative or carer could be alerted about them. For example, this monitoring can detect changes in sleep patterns, in eating habits like stopping eating hot meals, inactivity when more time is spent sitting or watching TV, wandering around the house, etc.

The system also enables people to receive assistance in carrying out everyday activities, for example, by means of alarms or domestic robots. These devices could remind them that it is time for them to take their medication or to do some activity.

Future steps

Following three years of research, the prototype of the system has now been fitted on the premises of Tecnalia in Zamudio (Bizkaia, Basque Country). The aim is for care homes for the elderly or supervised flats to install this system and thus improve the care of the patients and their quality of life.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elhuyar Fundazioa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Smart home able to detect symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321095018.htm>.
Elhuyar Fundazioa. (2014, March 21). Smart home able to detect symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321095018.htm
Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Smart home able to detect symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321095018.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins