MU Nursing School Unveils Sensor Technology

6 years 11 months 4 days ago Wednesday, June 15 2011 Jun 15, 2011 Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3:59:00 PM CDT June 15, 2011 in News
By: Tom Martin

COLUMBIA - MU's Sinclair School of Nursing partnered with the university's College of Engineering Wednesday at Tiger Place to demonstrate a new technology aimed at aiding the elderly.

The retirement home hosted engineering students and scientists from around the world to introduce a sensor program that can alert retirement home workers to a number of potential issues regarding its residents.

Using an array of sensors including the popular Xbox Kinect, the program aims to protect the elderly while simultaneously ensuring privacy. The sensors can be placed in beds, on walls and in couches and can alert retirement home workers to issues ranging from low pulse rate to low heart rate. Most importantly, they can alert workers if a resident falls.

Attendees watched a video explaining the new technology and later, were able to see computerized silhouettes of themselves walking in an area monitored by sensors.

Marilyn Rantz of the Sinclair School of Nursing headed the project. She said that she hopes to draw the interest of retirement homes around the area, as well as that of individual elderly residents living by themselves.

No cost has been set for the entire package once it hits the market. Dr. Rantz noted that she envisioned using "low-cost" sensors.

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