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Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 19, Issue 3–4, pp 573–599 | Cite as

Information and communications technologies for elderly ubiquitous healthcare in a smart home

  • M. Jamal DeenEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Over the past century, in most countries, there has been a continual increase in life expectancy primarily due to improvements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene and medicine. However, these improvements are now coupled with aging population demographics and falling birth rates, which, when combined, are expected to significantly burden the socioeconomic well-being of many of these countries. In fact, never before in human history have we been confronted with such a large aging population, nor have we developed solid, cost-effective solutions for the well-being, healthcare and social needs of the elderly. One efficient and cost-effective solution to the problem of elderly/patient care is remote healthcare monitoring so they can continue to live at home rather than in nursing homes or hospitals that are very expensive and with limited spaces. These remote monitoring systems will allow medical personnel to keep track of important physiological signs with reduced human resources, at less cost and in real time. This paper introduces several low-cost, noninvasive, user-friendly sensing and actuating systems using information and communication technologies. Such systems can be used to create engineering solutions to some of the pressing healthcare problems in our society, especially as it pertains to the elderly. One example is the integration of sensors, wireless communications, low-power electronics and intelligent computing to determine health-related information using signals from walking patterns. Such a sensing system will be suitable for prolonged use in a home environment. It will be wearable, noninvasive and non-intrusive, similar to smart socks, smart wrist-bands or smart belts. Other examples such as a smart joint monitor and a smart sleeping environment will be discussed, and future perspectives and research challenges in smart home technologies will be described.

Keywords

Smart home Smart medical home Smart home technology Elderly healthcare Ubiquitous healthcare Walking age analyzer Smart joint monitor Smart knee monitor Smart sleep environment Sensor fusion Information modeling Data security 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author is most grateful to many students, researchers, collaborators and colleagues who have contributed to various aspects of the work described here. These research works were performed in South Korea (with significant funding from the WCU program) and Canada. The author is also grateful to several students, colleagues and the guest editors who have carefully reviewed the manuscript and provided valuable suggestions, comments and advice. To these researchers, colleagues, collaborators and editors, the author expresses sincere thanks and appreciation.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electrical and Computer Engineering DepartmentMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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