Category Archives: Seniors

Sensors inform skilled nursing care

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IBM has partnered with Avamere skilled nursing facilities to sudy the use of cognitive computing to improve caregiver knowledge and actions. By embedding sensors that gather physical and environmental data in  senior living facilities, Avamere hopes to reduce hospital admission rates.

Patient movement, air quality, gait analysis and other fall risk factors, personal hygiene, sleeping patterns, incontinence and trips to the bathroom will be monitored. IBM will  analyze the data to create an understanding of each patient, and be able to predict and hopefully prevent negative outcomes.

One Avemere company, Infinity Rehab, already integrates sensor – derived health data in physical, occupational, and speech therapy protocols.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston – Featuring Roz Picard, Tom Insel, John Rogers and Nathan Intrator – September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab

AI assistant addresses specific needs of seniors

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ElliQ is AI assistant that intuitively interacts with seniors to support independent living.

The NLP based system enables users to make video calls, play games, and use social media. Music, TED talks, audio books,and other content is recommended, after machine learning tools analyze user preferences (or caregiver input is received.)  Physical activity is suggested after a long period of sitting is detected.  Medication reminders can be scheduled.

The robot is meant to act as a companion, to address loneliness, which is an epidemic amongst the elderly.  It could be further enhanced if memory triggers, anxiety-reducing content, and custom instructions about activities of daily living were incorporated.

ApplySci’s 6th  Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Sky Christopherson – Marcus Weldon – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

Alexa solidifies NLP’s role in smart homes, cars. Is senior care next?

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Amazon’s Alexa is the deserved  star of CES. Lights, thermostatsair purifiers, cars, refrigeratorsother appliances, and baby monitors are examples of interfaces solidifying the natural voice processing-driven future of the world.

Amazon now has the opportunity to enhance the lives of those aging in place.  Its development of senior citizen focused applications is lagging.  Alexa has the ability provide the social interaction, health monitoring, and memory triggers that many seniors need to live independently.  If caregivers were able to create customized questions and answers, specific user needs could be better addressed.

ApplySci’s 6th  Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Sky Christopherson – Marcus Weldon – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

Sensors + robotics + AI for safer aging in place

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IBM and rice University are developing MERA — a Waston enabled robot meant to help seniors age in place.

The system comprises a Pepper robot  interface, Watson, and Rice’s CameraVitals project, which calculates vital signs by recording video of a person’s face.  Vitals are measured multiple times each day. Caregivers are informed if the the camera and/or accelerometer detect a fall.

Speech to Text, Text to Speech and Natural Language Classifier APIs are being studied to enable answers to health related questions, such as “What are the symptoms of anxiety?” or “What is my heart rate?”

The company  believes that sensors plus cognitive computing can give clinicians and caregivers insights to enable better care decisions. They will soon test the technology in partnership with Sole Cooperativa, to monitor the daily activities of seniors in Italy.

Click to view IBM video


ApplySci’s 6th   Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis

Antibody dramatically reduces amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s patient study

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A potential game-changer in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease has been successfully trialled. Biogen developed aducanumab was found to almost completely clear the visible signs of Alzheimer’s disease from the brain.

165 patient brains were scanned as they were given the drug. After a year, almost all of the amyloid plaques appeared to have disappeared from those given the highest doses.

The findings suggest the plaques at least partly cause the disease, and are not a byproduct.  This has long been debated.

The drug is not with out risk, however.  It caused brain swelling in some patients, who then ledt the trial.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley – February 7-8 @ Stanford University – Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Miguel Nicolelis

Gait sensors predict falls, allowing preventive intervention

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University of Missouri’s Marjorie Skubic has used sensors to measure gait speed and stride length, to predict falls.  The goals is to use wearables and smart home technology to preserve independence and allow seniors to age in place.

Data was collected at an independent-living style retirement residence. Images and nurse alert emails were generated when irregular motion was detected. The researchers determined that a gait speed decline of 5 centimeters per second was associated with an 86.3 percent probability of falling within three weeks.  A shortened stride length was associated with a 50.6 percent probability of falling within three weeks.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley – February 7-8 @ Stanford University – Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Miguel Nicolelis

Affective computing system responds to dementia patient emotions

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SenseCare (Sensor Enabled Affective Computing for Enhancing Medical Care) is a Cork Institute of Technology led project meant to teach computers how to recognize and respond to human emotions.  The goal is to use applied psychology to monitor and improve the care of dementia patients.

The affective computing based system will manage data from voice and face recognition systems, and wearables that measure health, wellness, and activity levels. The open platform’s goal is “full emotional analytics” and will work with companion robots and other technologies to manage care.


Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley – February 7-8, 2016 @ Stanford University

Robot assesses, assists dementia patients

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Ludwig is a University of Toronto – built robot meant to assist seniors with cognitive issues.

“He” stands in front of a person, displays a picture on a screen, and asks the viewer to describe what he or she sees. Ludwig then interprets a user’s condition, including engagement, happiness or anxiety, and behavior changes over time.

With in-ear microphones, in-eye cameras, and feet embedded sensors, he tracks one’s stare, body movement, intonation and choice of words.  Based on these factors, speech recognition technology provides an analysis of cognitive health.

The second generation robot was originally built to guide seniors around their own homes, but was not interactive.

The new system will be piloted in a senior living facility in Canada next month.  Ludwig will be placed  in a common room so that residents can approach him casually.  If successful, a robot like this could help seniors age in place, or assist those with brain injuries and diseases in managing the activities of daily living.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley – February 7-8, 2017 @Stanford University

Wearable detects cardiac arrest, notifies emergency services

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 iBeat is a wearable emergency response system that continuously monitors the heart.  Meant for seniors, it detects cardiac arrest in real time, provides alerts, and sends regular updates to caregivers.

If cardiac arrest is detected, the wearer receives a call within 10 seconds.  If he/she cannot be reached, an emergency contact and emergency medical services are called.

A user can also activate the device manually in an emergency, such as a fall, car accident, or home invasion.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

Voice, image,language identifying robot responds to human dialogue

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Hitachi’s EMIEW3 robot, designed to provide customer service in commercial environments, could be an ideal companion for the elderly or disabled. Its “remote brain” allows it to identify voices, images and language in its surroundings (which it can process with background street noise).  AI enables it to  respond to human dialogue and avoid collisions.  It is light enough to lift,can move at 6km per hour,  and stand on its own if knocked over. A cosmetic LED-light “beating heart” makes the robot seem more human.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences