Portable Device for Telecare Monitoring of Elderly People

  • Najafi, Bijan (PI)
  • Mohler, Martha Jane (PI)
  • Chen, Bor-Rong (PI)
  • Gwin, Joseph (PI)
  • Najafi, Bijan (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This project will develop and commercialize a novel ambulatory system for elderly care based on the body-fixed-sensor technology. The proposed technology integrates three key features and capabilities which are of significant importance for elderly care and monitoring the state of mental and physical health;1) long-term physical activity monitoring, 2) objective assessment of risk of falling, 3) Automatic fall detection. The system uses accurate electro-mechanical sensors to measure body motion. A single- module portable kinematic sensor will be developed to be attached to the subject's upper body during every day life without hindering the subject's physical activity. A set of algorithms will be developed based on a novel biomechanical model human movement and will be incorporated in software for post-processing of the recorded body-motion data. In addition, the software will provide a user-friendly interface for data transfer, analysis and the generation of the final assessment report. The capabilities of the proposed device will be evaluated by a set of clinical trials. During commercialization, a web-based service will be developed for wireless transferring the data from medical centers, health-care providers and nursing homes as well as individual health givers. Further clinical evaluation will be also performed to increase the sensitivity and specificity of the proposed technology. The developed technology can be used for monitoring the state of health in elderly, as well as the effect of different medical and surgical procedures in enhancing their quality of life. In addition, the capability of the system to objectively monitor the risk of falling can be used for prevention of falls and fall-related injuries, which are one of the most common and costliest health problems among the elderly, by providing feedback to both elderly people and their care givers. The proposed technology also provides a unique method for automatic real-time detection of falls and therefore has implication in emergency care, as well as clinical studies. The unique technology proposed can provide a unique solution for elderly care and a reliable and robust tool for independent living and thus, can significantly impact the health-care costs of western world countries. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The direct outcome of this project is a device which monitors the physical activity of a person and provides an accurate assessment of the body posture and parameters associated with posture change. The device uses these parameters to provide a highly accurate and objective assessment of the risk of falling, in order to prevent falls and fall-related injuries. An additional feature of the device allows for automatic fall detection. In a broader context, the proposed product/system can be used to monitor and record the physical activity of people during every day life for various applications, such as assessment of quality of life, and evaluation of the effect of drugs and rehabilitative intervention and provides a unique solution for elderly-care and encouragement of independent living.
Effective start/end date7/1/085/31/17


  • National Institutes of Health: $100,000.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $444,939.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $749,999.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $739,784.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $736,661.00


  • Medicine(all)


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