Video gaming system used to address senior falls

Video gaming system used to address senior falls

September 8, 2011

As advances in video gaming systems continue to marvel teenage boys and geeks alike, researchers at the University of Missouri are using one system as a way to allow seniors to age in place for longer.

Doctoral students at Missouri University College of Engineering are using the Microsoft Kinect to try and monitor seniors’ movements in their homes as a medical alert system.

Kinect is typically used for hands free video gaming by way of its motion-sensing cameras. Now, researchers are using the technology to watch elders as they walk around their homes. The system will be able to detect any sudden movements or change in position that occurs, including if they fall.

If it detects sudden movement or change, it will automatically call emergency workers or family members who can get to the home immediately.

“Falls are especially dangerous for older adults and if they don’t get help immediately, the chances of serious injury or death are increased,” said doctoral student Liang Liu. “If emergency personnel are informed about a fall right away, it can significantly improve the outcome for the injured patient.”

While new technology is always coming out, caregivers concerned about their loved ones aging in place now may want to consider installing a medical alert system that they can easily push for help should they fall or require medical attention right away.

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