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'smart Cameras' to Help Monitor Elderly People Who Live Alone

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Yale University researchers Eugenio Culurciello and Andreas Savvides are developing smart camera technology to help monitor older adults who live alone. "Approximately one third of individuals who are 65 and older fall each year," Culurciello says. "While many falls do not result in injury, nearly 50 percent of non-injured fallers cannot get up without assistance, and the period of time they spend immobile often affects their health outcome." Culurciello and Savvides developed a surveillance system that recognizes falls and automatically calls for help.

The system uses a high-speed smart camera with a microprocessor that analyzes rough outline images and distinguishes between patterns of motion. The camera is programmed to recognize the difference between someone who is sitting, bending, kneeling, walking, or falling. Culurciello says videos made from the fall detector information also can distinguish between a person falling and an object or pet falling or jumping off a raised surface. When a fall occurs, the device can contact support systems such as professional care givers or family members.

From Yale University
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