A new study is exploring how smart-home technology can monitor retirement community residents with chronic conditions, flag health events and important behaviors, and lighten caregivers’ loads. Ultimately, the research may enable retirement community residents to be more independent and better able to age in place, says “$1.8 million grant funds study of 'smart' tech in senior living," which recently appeared in McKnight's Senior Living.
 
The study is finding ways to transform smart home sensor data into algorithms that alert caregivers when an older adult’s health changes. The work is intended to help older adults who have multiple chronic conditions.
 
One grant recipient, Roschelle “Shelly” Fritz, Ph.D., began this work by deploying five health-assistive smart homes at the Touchmark retirement community on South Hill in Spokane, WA. She is an assistant professor in the Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing in Vancouver, WA.
 
Two other researchers are developing a health-assistive smart home that can identify and label, with more than 98% accuracy, more than 40 activities of daily living and behavior patterns among older adults, said McKnight’s Senior Living. They are Diane Cook, Ph.D., the Huie-Rogers Chair Professor in the WSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, Ph.D., the Herbert L. Eastlick Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Psychology.
  
The study is made possible through a five-year grant of $1.77 million by the National Institute on Nursing Research to WSU.

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