New Wireless Sensors Tackle Old Problems Like Pneumonia

Anthony Vecchione | InformationWeek | June 26, 2012

For the past seven years, wireless sensor technology developed at the University of Missouri (MU) has helped detect disease in its early stages among residents living at the TigerPlace assisted care facility in Columbia, Mo. Now, thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, that technology soon will be expanded to remotely monitor the elderly in another facility in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Marilyn Rantz, RN, professor of nursing at the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri, said that staffers and MU researchers will remotely monitor residents in Cedar Falls from the TigerPlace facility, which is about three miles from MU. High-speed video conferencing capabilities will allow communication between staff and residents at the two locations.

"Using what we're already doing at TigerPlace and deploying it at the facility in Cedar Falls will allow us to further test the concept of remote health care," Rantz told InformationWeek Healthcare. "Monitoring individuals with in-home sensors allows us to unobtrusively monitor their health changes based on their individual activity patterns and baseline health conditions." Rantz said that environmentally embedded sensors that monitor pulse, respiration, and bed restlessness have been a key to the success of early detection...