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Carnegie Mellon will test ability of embedded sensors to detect onset of dementia, infirmity
Date:3/3/2010

chairs, pillboxes and water glasses, which can then be used normally.

"Our goal is to determine not only that the resident has completed a task, such as preparing a meal, but how they went about it," Dey said. "Did he have trouble opening a jar? Did she take longer to make dinner than usual? Were preparation steps omitted? Over time, such changes might be a signal that a professional evaluation of a person's functional abilities is needed." The combination of motion, contact, weight and other sensors will vary from one residence to the next, depending on the occupant's needs and habits, he noted.

Diane Collins, assistant professor of rehabilitation science and technology at Pitt and an expert in assessing functional abilities of people with disabilities, will work with Kent to provide clinical evaluation of the participants. The other key member of the team is Matthew Lee, a Ph.D. student in HCII who specializes in behavioral and cognitive science.

The research effort is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Project HealthDesign: Rethinking the Power and Potential of Personal Health Records. Earlier Project HealthDesign work revealed that the data needed to inform day-to-day health decisions came less often from information contained in people's official medical record and more from information gained by monitoring health in everyday life.

Along with the other four teams selected for the grants, the Pittsburgh team will first participate in a refine/design phase to share ideas, establish goals and refine initial approaches. Project teams will then work with patients with complex chronic conditions to capture and interpret ODLs while establishing a relationship with a physician practice to share information. Over the 12 months, clinicians will care for 30-50 patients who are actively monitoring ODLs and assess the value of including the ODLs in their real-world care processes.

In addition, the program provides l
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Contact: Byron Spice
bspice@cs.cmu.edu
412-268-9068
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

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