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2012 Grants - Wan
A Passive Tag-Free Approach to Localization and Activity Monitoring
Eric Wan, Ph.D.
Portland State University
2012 Everyday Technologies for Alzheimer's Care
Most in-home monitoring systems require a person to carry a device or tag, and individuals with cognitive decline (memory loss) often forget or fail to wear their tags. In surveys of seniors and caregivers, a strong preference exists for not having to wear a monitoring device. Due to privacy issues, video-based tracking is not a feasible option. Simple binary infrared motion detectors, contact switches or vibration sensors, indicate region level location, but do not provide accurate activity information and fail when more than one person are in the home.
Eric Wan, Ph.D., and colleagues propose to test a passive tag-free tracking system that uses radio frequency (RF) signals between multiple transceivers that reflect and absorb differently depending on where a person is located within a room. Low-cost, low-power transceivers are mounted on walls of the living space and configured to wirelessly signal between each other. A person's movement will change the RF patterns within the room and advanced algorithms will determine the exact location and activity of the person.
This proposed research project includes methods for increasing localization resolution, estimating additional mobility measures, such as walking speed, and determining activities of daily living (e.g., trips to the bathroom). Evaluation will take place in the ORCATECH Living Lab, a community-based resource of volunteer seniors who have agreed to allow emerging technologies to be deployed and tested in their homes. For this study, eight homes will be outfitted and monitored for two months each to evaluate system performance. The researchers will also evaluate use for monitoring caregiver burden.
This monitoring method could provide an unprecedented level of localization accuracy while also estimating mobility and other measures of activity, including monitoring interactions with a caregiver.