FORT WORTH(CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a first of its kind project in Texas and it could help senior citizens live longer and more independently in their homes. Thursday CBS 11 got a peek into the future.
What looks like a typical two-bedroom apartment at the Lakewood Village Senior Living Community in Fort Worth.
But in the couch, under the bedsheets and even in the bathroom are sensors. The idea behind this Smart Care Apartment is to get data about the health and lifestyles of seniors.
And that data is going to be used to help identify when you’re at risk for something and changes. So it’s to protect you and your safety,” says Carolyn Cason, UT-Arlington Nursing Professor.
UT-Arlington nursing and engineering researchers came up with the idea with one goal in mind.
“The whole concept was to be able to support elders and those with disabilities to live longer independently,” says Cason.
The five-year project included $600,000 in federal funding. But the technology that’s installed in this concept apartment is already on the market.
“The person who lives here doesn’t have to touch anything, doesn’t have to turn anything on, doesn’t have to wear anything, doesn’t have to remember to do anything whatsoever,” says Cason. “Just live here.”
It’s the data the students want. They believe what the sensors pick up can ultimately warn seniors that something might be wrong with their health.
“It can also tell the doctor there’s something changing here. You might want to look at this. Get the patient in,” says Manfred Hubert, UT-Arlington Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering.
And the long term goal of the project is to take it outside of a concept apartment.
“A lot of this technology doesn’t have to be in a care facility. It could be in anyone’s home,” says Hubert. “Just linked up to send information to the doctor or to some nursing company.”
There are no cameras in the apartment. Project leaders say there are safeguards in place to ensure only the data is used and a person wouldn’t be identified or seen in an unflattering situation.
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