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Hot Topics: New Technology Could Allow Dementia Patients to Live Alone Longer

Jackie Werner Dementia, Hot Topics in Research, Neurology

Health management and pattern analysis of daily living activities of people with dementia using in-home sensors and machine learning techniques

Enshaeifar S, Zoha A, Markides A, et al. Health management and pattern analysis of daily living activities of people with dementia using in-home sensors and machine learning techniques. PLOS ONE. 2018;13(5):e0195605. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0195605.

The number of people diagnosed with dementia is expected to rise in the coming years. Given that there is currently no definite cure for dementia and the cost of care for this condition soars dramatically, slowing the decline and maintaining independent living are important goals for supporting people with dementia. This paper discusses a study that is called Technology Integrated Health Management (TIHM). TIHM is a technology assisted monitoring system that uses Internet of Things (IoT) enabled solutions for continuous monitoring of people with dementia in their own homes. We have developed machine learning algorithms to analyse the correlation between environmental data collected by IoT technologies in TIHM in order to monitor and facilitate the physical well-being of people with dementia. The algorithms are developed with different temporal granularity to process the data for long-term and short-term analysis. We extract higher-level activity patterns which are then used to detect any change in patients’ routines. We have also developed a hierarchical information fusion approach for detecting agitation, irritability and aggression. We have conducted evaluations using sensory data collected from homes of people with dementia. The proposed techniques are able to recognise agitation and unusual patterns with an accuracy of up to 80%.