Workshop on Personal Motion Technologies for Healthy Independent Living


NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD

Meeting summaries and reports

This workshop provided discussion about clinical needs and how sensor technologies can be used to monitor personal motion in older and/or disabled persons' everyday lives and monitor how well or not so well they live independently. Although there are lots of protocols and questionnaires that measure domains such as health, behavior and function, those only capture information at certain points in time and often rely on subjective recall from individuals. Sensor technologies could monitor these domains in real time, sequentially, and feed information to healthcare providers and researchers who can monitor how well people are functioning. These technologies could also be used to monitor motions that are precursors to diseases and disabilities that really can't be captured by current measures. Potentially, the use of sensors to monitor personal motion could be very cost effective because a lot of person-time (e.g., getting individuals to doctor's offices or medical centers, or having health researchers/professionals going to someone's home) could be saved. These technologies, through constant and thorough monitoring, could potentially help people live independently in their homes longer, delaying the need to go to an institution, and also assist in determining when it is time for entrance to an institution. Communication about the things that need to be monitored is essential for the modification of existing technologies or development of new ones to accomplish the goal of healthy independent living.

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