A year-long trial to monitor the day-to-day activities of elderly Medicare members is being launched in the US. The 100-participant trial will monitor eating, sleeping, physical activity and toileting according to a press release from Humana. The trial appears to be a collaboration between Humana and a sensor provider Healthsense.
The idea of using bed occupancy sensors, weight triggered rugs, sensors to monitor movement, door and window opening and use of lighting and stoves is not new but it is not widely deployed. They would typically be configured to raise an alarm when the usual pattern of activity is not taking place (e.g. the occupant is not rising at the usual time) or if a danger is detected such as a hob being left on for a long period of time. In this way they can provide the confidence for a lone occupant to continue an independent life longer than otherwise.
The trial announced by Humana is to take place across Florida, the Carolinas, Kentucky and West Virginia. Although the press release hypes it as a telehealth trial “to reduce unnecessary readmissions”, my reading of it is that it is really a telecare trial.