Live safely even in old age – within your own four walls
What to do if you fall in your home? Many elderly people ask themselves these and similar questions; they want security without having to give up their own four walls. A new technology concept, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern, Germany, now makes this possible – while also ensuring privacy. A communication tool integrates nursing care consultation and ensures social integration.
Researchers from the Fraunhofer IESE, the Deutsches Institut für angewandte Pflegeforschung e.V. [German Institute for Applied Care Research] and CIBEK technology + trading GmbH have now developed the system SUSI TD, which combines security and privacy. There are no cameras or other such devices to be seen in the home environment. "Our system is based on non-invasive sensors, especially on motion detectors (such as those used in lamps and alarms) as well as touch sensors placed on often-used drawers or refrigerators," explains Rolf van Lengen, Head of Department at the IESE. On the basis of the sensory data, the system learns to identify the recurring actions of the person and to recognize when assistance is needed.
There is another plus in terms of privacy: the collected data remain in the residence and are also evaluated there. Only when the person’s behavior deviates from the usual does the system send an encrypted message to the nursing care center or the nursing care support point.
For the development of SUSI TD, Cornelius Moucha, Mario Schmitt and Rolf van Lengen from the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE, Anne Gebert from the Deutsches Institut für angewandte Pflegeforschung e.V. and Bernd Klein from CIBEK technology + trading GmbH received this year’s Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize, entitled "Technik für den Menschen" [Human-Centered Technology]. The jury justifies the award by mentioning, among other things, "the special value which, in addition to the technical implementation, was placed on the ethical aspects."